Thursday, 29 December 2011

Sneak Peek: Noir Collection

I am working on a new collection of jewellery as we speak, which will be listed in my Folksy shop in January. So, I thought I would show you a sneak peek of what I have created, it is very different to my usual work, much bolder and more abstract, and as the name suggests has limited colour palette of black, grey and white.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Thursday, 15 December 2011

13th December: Planning for Christmas Dinner

I love planning menus, flicking through recipe after recipe to come up with a refreshing starter, a warm and homely dinner and a pudding to remember. I know there isn't much scope when it comes to Christmas Dinner, but I do still like to plan it to death! One year I cooked pork with rosemary for Christmas dinner, and another I followed a Delia recipe with stuffed chicken breasts with mushrooms, bacon and madeira. My friend's family once had a completely honegrown Christmas, even down to the chicken! 

So, this year I have ordered a turkey crown from the farm shop who will cover it in bacon for me, all ready to pop in the oven with no worries about fitting it all in. I have four packs of bacon wrapped chipolatas (pigs in blankets) because last year I cooked them early and my cat ate some. So the four packs should cover all eventualities. I have my vacuum packed chestnuts ready to combine with some sprouts and lardons. 

I have already bought a Heston Christmas pudding with a clementine inside and a chocolate pudding for the boys. 

I will probably do a prawn cocktail or smoked salmon for a starter, or I might not bother, in which case there will be smoked salmon sandwiches for Christmas tea!

Mmmm, I can't wait....10 more days to go!
Love Mrs Jones x

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

12th December: Christmas Gift Guide - Men

The last in the series, and you had better get your skates on if you are starting your Christmas shopping now! Gifts for men:

Muddy Ground Tshirts Artisan Leather
Earthworks Journals Angel Silver
Hannah Christie Handmade Matt

From top left: 
1. Mountain Biking T-shirt from Muddy Ground T-shirts
2. Brown English Saddlery Leather belt from Artisan Leather
3. A5 Crackled Black wraparound journal from Earthworks Journals
4. Your child's fingerprint in fine silver cufflinks from Angel Silver - perfect for new Dads
5. Laser cut lamp 'Japanese Clouds' from Hannah Christie
6. Ray Mears eat your heart out Bushcraft Fire camping cooker and tripod from Rustic and Outdoor Cooking Solutions by Handmade Matt

Love Mrs Jones x

11th December: It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas!

I have been really busy trying to tidy and clean my house, one room at a time, as it had been a bit neglected due to working, craft fairs etc. And as I go, I am trying to inject a little bit of Christmas in every room. Here are some of the things I have done.
Feathered robin in my downstairs toilet (Mirror from Melody Maison)

Darling little tealight holder which casts glowing stars on the walls. I will have this on my Christmas table on Christmas Day.

Dining room: A bit of fakery and yet another robin on this candle. The candle has a gold motif of an angel.

Dining Room: Oh I do miss my fireplace, where else to hang the stockings - The subbuteo table covered with a blanket will have to do.

Spare Bedroom: I love this Playmobil nativity set, even though my boys have outgrown it.
I still have a lot of cleaning to do and it took most of the weekend to do my boys' rooms. 

Love Mrs Jones x

Saturday, 10 December 2011

10th December: The Christmas Tree

Cat disguised as a Christmas tree!

Yum, it's tasty too!

Atticus is very proud of himself.

The tree (note: less decorations on the bottom half due to cat mischief)

Gorgeous handmade stars (not made by me!)

Simple gold sprayed cone - easy decoration to make at home.

I love these glass teardrops. It's great to build up a collection of beautiful decorations over the years as well as the usual baubles.

9th December: Gifts for the Ladies

This is so easy, I just looked at my favourited items and shops and hey presto I have a gift selection:

Nutmeg Clover Jewels
Green Grass Bland Clothing
Ink & Stylus Girl of the Sixties
From top left: 
1. Cosy up in these gorgeous pyjama bottoms from Nutmeg
2. Beautiful watch from Clover Jewels
3. Diary 2012 from Green Grass
4. Red sailor dress from Bland Clothing - I would really really like this (size 8/10 please!)
5. Butterflies and Birdcages from Ink & Stylus
6. Fab clutch bag from Girl of the Sixties

Love Mrs Jones x

Thursday, 8 December 2011

8th December: My Trusty Little Robin

 Nothing says Christmas like a little robin, especially if its outside on a frosty branch. I bought a set of sweet little robin decorations from Lakeland this year. They are very realistic, especially as they are decorated with feathers.
I have used them so many times this Christmas so far:
  • on my Yule log
  • as an embellishment on my Secret Santa parcel
  • added to a jewellery stand at the craft fairs I have been to
..and finally they will be used on the Christmas tree, which is due to go up this weekend.

Has anyone got anything that they use in many different ways that they could recommend?

Love Mrs Jones x

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

7th December: Victorian Style Pin-Prick Decorations

I have adapted one of the activities from the Victorian Christmas series on BBC to make pin-prick decorations. This is a great way to recycle last years Christmas cards and would work well as gift tags too.

You will need:

  • Plain white paper
  • Something as the feature, eg. an old card, illustration etc.
  • Pin or needle
  • Glue
  • Something to rest on 
Design and cut out a shape on the white paper slightly larger than the christmas card or whatever you are using. You can either leave it as it is or scallop the edge to look like lace. Using the pin, start to prick out a pattern (I put my pin cushion underneath) in the white paper.

Then glue your Christmas card in the centre. Add any embellishments such as ribbon or glitter, and glue on a piece of thread if you are using this as a decoration.

With this snowflake decoration, I pressed the edge of the paper into an ink pad and added an organza ribbon.
I pricked a straight sided frame for the robin and added some paper holly as decoration.

But, there are so many other decorations you can make from home quite easily and cheaply, such as silver sprayed pine cones. I have also made decorations from broken jewellery, but I'll show you those another time.

Love Mrs Jones x

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

6th December: Victorian Christmas

Have you watched any of the Victorian or Edwardian Farm programs on BBC? Well, they also run a series of Victorian Christmas Farm, and to get everyone in the mood for a Victorian style Christmas, there are 25 Christmas activities for you to try.

Love Mrs Jones x