Sunday, 30 October 2011

Gift Embellishments

It is very unusual for me to have actually wrapped some Christmas presents in October (!) but I need to deliver them next weekend. But I thought they looked a little plain, so improvised some little embellishments which I am going to share. 

This embellishment has been made by roughly cutting a strip from the same wrapping paper and folding it in half lengthways on the wrong side of the paper. Then I snipped along it, without snipping the fold, so it looked a little like a very long comb. Turned it the right way out, and folded at the outer edges to get the loops showing. Then, starting at either end rolled it round and round itself and stapled the base to stop it unravelling. You can also make a mini version of this that also looks good:
And if you are really desperate for an embellishment and have nothing else to make it from, you can make it from a plastic bag! I made this one from a narrower piece of plastic than the ones above, hence the shorter, tighter loops.
Other ideas for embellishments are Christmas Decorations:
Or some Christmas greenery, here I have used Skimmia:
Or you could use something edible like candy canes or cinnamon sticks tied with ribbon. I have trawled the net for some other ideas:

Love Mrs Jones x

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Halloween Cupcakes

Spooky cupcakes which are great for Halloween! These are made from a regular cupcake recipe (125g of butter and sugar creamed, add two eggs and beat, then sieve in 100g of self raising flour and 25g of cocoa powder, then fold in, and baked at 180C for 15-20 mins). I have iced them with royal icing with yellow and blue colouring to make the nasty green colour. I have then added a washed plastic halloween toy which I bought in large packs in Wilkinsons for about £1 (see Bat Mobile post for the other things I did with these).

My boys are desperate to have one, so I'll let them be my tasters tonight! What is left will be offered out on Monday night as treats.

Monday, 24 October 2011

A Weekend in London

The Tower of London
I have just spent the last weekend in London with my family. It is the first time that my youngest son has been, so he was very excited. We had a grand plan of what we would visit, but we abandoned that almost as soon as we arrived. Our first stop was the Science Museum, which we all loved. There is just so much to do, but what they loved most was the Launch Pad area with all the hands on science activities. Considering it was a Saturday, and half term, it wasn't too busy. 

Tower Bridge
From there we walked to Harrods and up a tiny staircase in the corner of the entrance to the food hall to the fourth floor which is where the toys are (every conceivable toy imaginable). I bought both my boys Harrod teddy bears. 

On Sunday, we had a tube free day, because the underground is not always the best option, and we walked from Tower Bridge along the southern path of the River Thames first to HMS Belfast, then right on round to the London Eye, stopping at Gabriel's Wharf for lunch. The queue for the Eye was long but seemed to go very quickly. It was much better than I expected, although it would have been even better if there were fewer people in it with us!

This morning, our first stop was Hamleys and then through St James Park to Buckingham Palace where they were changing the guard. Such a great weekend, and there is still lots to do next time we visit.

Love Mrs Jones x

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

And the winner is...

Polly PurpleHorse! I will contact you for your address.

Many thanks for those that entered, and I will definitely be taking on board your colour suggestions next year.

I listed all entrants and numbered them on a spreadsheet and used an online randomiser to give me a number.

Love Mrs Jones x

Midweek Montage

I haven't done a Folksy Friday in a while, and I just feel like doing one today! I have been given a huge bag of cooking apples from my Dad's orchard as well as some plums. The orchard belonged to my grandad and when each grandchild was born he planted a fruit tree, and so thirty to forty years later, the trees are mature and bearing lots of fruit. I would love to have the space to do this.

Made to Make Kitsch Apples Bunting
Blue Fox Wood Little Bird Too
Gravel Hill Design Grandma’s Miniature Market

From top left: Apples & Pears Collage from Made to Make, Kitsch Apple Bunting from Handmade by Katy in Cornwall, Red Apple Needle Case from Blue Fox Wood, Apple & Pear card from Little Birdie Too, Bird Apple Feeder from Gravel Hill Designs and a Crate of Red Apples from Grandma's Miniature Market.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Christmas Giveaway!

As a celebration of reaching 100 fans on my Facebook page, I am having a Giveaway!
The prize is: one pair of Silver plated Swarovski heart earrings in siam, a couple of cute little red hairgrips, one very Christmassy bracelet in white, red & green, a mini pack of two handmade Christmas cards, and a little handmade notebook, perfect for writing all your Christmas lists.

So, to win this:
  1. Please leave me a comment stating what colours or colour combinations you would like to see in my jewellery in 2012 (my shop is here if you want to see what I already do).
  2. If you also Follow Me on my blog or like my Facebook page, I will enter you twice!
This giveaway ends at 6pm on Wednesday 19th October 2011 and is open to UK residents only.

Love Mrs Jones x

Earring Display

It's that time of year when I am thinking about how my Christmas craft stalls are going to look. This year, I have so many earrings that I need a bigger solution to what I had before. So I have created a giant version of  my earring presentation cards. I have tried to keep them in themes, Christmas, Bridal etc and I still have more earrings, so will have to make another one.

It is just an A4 piece of card folded in half and decorated. Then I lightly drew two lines and pierced along it in pairs. I will then be able to pencil on the prices and details. I'm not too worried about how sturdy it is, as long as it lasts through to Christmas! Next year I am going to invest in some real display equipment!

Love Mrs Jones x

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've been wanting to make some cookies for a while, but I never have all the right ingredients or not enough time! I made these chocolate chip cookies from a recipe in the Hummingbird bakery book. I'm not going to reproduce the recipe because I'm not sure where I would stand on copyright, but it is available on this blog here as well as numerous other places online. 

The last thing I tried from this book was a total failure, not sure whether it was me or the recipe (probably me)! But these cookies have turned out perfectly - soft and chewy in the middle with a bit more of a bite on the edge. As usual, I didn't have some of the ingredients: vanilla extract which I definitely have somewhere but can't find, and I didn't have anywhere near enough chocolate as the chocolate chips had been raided by my boys! 

I did also think that a few of these in a pretty foodsafe bag would make a great Christmas present, or even filling a jar with the dry ingredients! (Obviously, the cookies in this bag below aren't going to make it until Christmas)!

Love Mrs Jones x

Monday, 3 October 2011

Batmobile (Bat Mobile)

Well it's finally October, so I'm starting on my Halloween posts with this Bat Mobile which is so easy to make. You need hardly any equipment and it only takes ten minutes!

Bats - I got loads for £1 in Wilkinsons
Stringing material - I used illusion cord, but you could use cotton thread, fishing line etc
Wire coat hanger - who doesn't have one of these!

I arranged my bats in a rough order, with approx three on each string (you could use more, especially if you have a long window to put them in) then tied them into the illusion cord. Once I had my three strings, I tied each to a wire coat hanger. Then I twisted the hook so that it was at right angles to the main body of the hanger.

And hang it from a curtain pole in a window!

If you don't want to buy plastic bats, you could draw your own in black card and string them by piercing a hole in one of the wings. And it is something a child can do! 

Now what do I do with the rats that came with the bats?!

Love Mrs Jones x

Saturday, 1 October 2011

October Daily Listing Club

Natalie Ofkants Lynwood Chums
Wellydog Galley With Hugs & Kisses
Beadesk Adien Crafts

From top: Crocheted Trilby Hat by N Ofkants;
Needle Book by Lynwood Chums; 
Christmas Card by Wellydog Gallery; 
Boat Shoes by With Hugs & Kisses;
Purple Ribbon Necklace by Beadesk; 
Midnight Blue Heart with Vintage Lace by Adien Crafts.
Just a few of the early treasures from the October Owls Daily Listing Club on Folksy. Don't miss out!
Love Mrs Jones x

Indian Summer

A little burst of summer in September! We are so lucky to be given this chance to don our summer dresses and pretend its July again! Yesterday evening, we had the last barbecue of the year.
The Autumn light was fading but it was still gloriously warm. I got a chance to sit at my lovely new garden table which was my late summer bargain from B&Q.
 My son, who has abandoned his trampoline for much of September, bounces back on.
The planting looks tiny in this photo, but we have only been here for a year and a half, so the garden will be improved further, with a bit of all year interest. I hope you are enjoying this warm sun too.

Love Mrs Jones x