Tuesday, 31 January 2012

University Reminiscing

I am back after a fantastic weekend near Stoke on Trent for a university friend's 40th birthday party. It was great to meet up with the friends that I lived with in Preston in 1991 when we all were at Lancashire Polytechnic, which became University of Central Lancashire whilst we were there.

The party was held at The Wheatsheaf Inn at Onneley, a large pub in the countryside near Keele, and the shiny black baby grand piano held glasses of champagne as we entered. I met up with Steve, whose birthday it was, Justine & Mark, and even though it was around seven years ago that we last met, it was like no time had passed at all. The party was great with a band doing cover versions and a pudding to die for: a huge Croquembouche with lots of spun sugar.

So, this morning, I dug out all my photos of my student days in Preston and scanned all of them into the computer (in 1991, the world wide web was barely known about). It was a real treat to see that I had written on the backs of the photos when I prised them out of the album, so I knew exactly who was in it, where we were and the date!

Love Mrs Jones x

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Make up bag

I was very excited yesterday when my fabric order came through, and I could finally get started on making a make up bag. I really want to make a success of sewing, but it doesn't come very instinctively and I find myself pinning and repinning, trying to work it through in my head,

So, in this little bag is my first attempt at putting a zip in and lining something, and it looks quite sweet.
I added this gorgeous ribbon to the front of the bag...

...and a little red star button to one little Scottie Dog!

And here is the inside.
Well, I would love opinions, about the dimensions (23cm wide), about the overall look, about my sewing!!! Would it be better suited as a Kindle case?
Love Mrs Jones x

James and the Giant Peach

I have had a really busy week, but my husband took the only working laptop cable away with him for three days, so it's now catch up time!

My youngest has a "Dress as your favourite book character" day tomorrow in celebration of the opening of his new school library. So, this evening we set about making the peach (not so giant) and the insects.

I bought a polystyrene ball from a local stationers which we covered in peachy pink paper, then dabbed on some orange paint as Fred thought it looked too pink! The insects were made by me and Fred, from Fimo which is a modelling clay which you bake in the oven. Arachnophobes should probably look away now!

From left: a small brown beetle, a worm (viewing from top), a grasshopper, a ladybird and a centipede.

Eeek! It's Miss Spider!
I then glued some of the insects on the peach and some of them I used some wire and pushed this into the polystyrene. With Miss Spider, I cut and shaped some lengths of plastic coated wire and attached with a sticky glue spot. She is quite delicate, and I'm not sure I can bear her going to school! So, tomorrow, Fred will dress in his ordinary clothes and hold the peach!

Love Mrs Jones x

Friday, 20 January 2012

Folksy Friday: WWII

As my son went to Nothe Hill as an evacuee this week, I have been inspired to do a World War II Folksy Friday (you would be amazed at what you can find).

It’s the Little Things... Grimm Exhibition
The Odds n Sods Shop Gin Poodle
Armadillo Creations
Hunted and Stuffed
From top left:
1. Vintage WWII brooch from It's the Little Things...
2. Charity Poppy Appeal Soldiers card set from Grimm Exhibition
3. Pin up Girl Picture from The Odds n Sods Shop
4. Black Snood with Blue Ribbon from Gin Poodle
5. Ministry of Food Leaflet cushion from Armadillo Creations
6. Vintage tea towel cushion from Hunted and Stuffed

Love Mrs Jones x

Monday, 16 January 2012

My Evacuee

Just a quickie today as a follow on from the Baker Boy Hat post. Here it is in action as my youngest becomes an evacuee on a school trip to Nothe Fort, Weymouth.
Love Mrs Jones x

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Sweet Little Elephant Biscuits

My youngest just got back from a sleepover, and because it is just me and him today, I decided we should do something together. I was given the Primrose Hill Bakery cookbook for my birthday and was enchanted by the bourbon dachshund biscuits they make. Obviously I don't have anything as refined as a sausage dog cutter, but I do have an elephant cutter.

The Best

And the rest!

Eat me!
Here is the recipe (it was originally a Nigella one, but Primrose Bakery have adapted it, and I have summarised it!):

Printable recipe click here


85g unsalted butter (I used Clover)
100g golden caster sugar (I used white granulated)
1 large egg
Drop of vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

1.Preheat oven to 180C and line some baking trays.

2. Cream butter & sugar, add egg and beat in.

3. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.

4. Turn out on a floured work surface and roll to 1/2 cm thick. Use your cutters.

5. Bake for around 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Slide onto a baking tray.

6. When cool, decorate as required.

If you want Nigella's version it is the Butter Cut Out Biscuits in "How to be a Domestic Goddess" or Primrose Hill Bakery's version is Iced Biscuits in "The Primrose Bakery Book"
Love Mrs Jones x

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Another Foray with my Sewing Machine

I am still trying to get to grips with my sewing machine and am teaching myself how to sew again. I know I managed to bash out a baker boy hat the other day (I must have had a rush of blood to the head), but I want my sewing to get up to a standard where I can make some roman blinds and a dress or two for myself, and maybe even sell a few things. 

I am using Jane Bolsover's "Sewing Machine Basics" - I was drawn to it because it has a mix of information and projects with patterns. So, this morning I sat down and made the first project - the envelope pillow:

I have to say that even though it looks okay it isn't great - although there is a bit of overlap on the envelope bit, it is a bit gaping. I also seem to have developed a problem with the underside of the stitching - which is uneven. So, there is definitely room for improvement, but it is a start.

Love Mrs Jones x

Friday, 13 January 2012

Folksy Friday: Black & White

To tie in with the launch of my Noir Collection, I have found some more black & white items on Folksy:

Putting on the Charms Uniquely Yours
Keke Kaka Wild Rose Designs
Ickle Imogen Suzanne Porter Boutique

From Top Left:
1. Back to Black Party Watch from Putting on the Charms
2. Black & White Shimmer Scarf from Uniquely Yours
3. Reindeer Original Drawing from Keke Kaka
4. Black & White Spotted Evening Bag from Wild Rose Designs
5. Black & White Bow Headband from Ickle Imogen
6. Black & White Floral Print Dress from Suzanne Porter Designs

Love Mrs Jones x

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Baker Boy Hat

And now for a complete departure from usual. This evening, I came home from work, cooked dinner and then sat down to make a hat! It isn't for me, although you will see in a completely unflattering photo, that it does fit me. My youngest son has to dress up as an evacuee on Monday and he is going to Weymouth with the school. I did only read the letter this morning.

I started the evening by transforming an old jumper into a tank top, but this is what I am really proud of:

It isn't be any means perfect (I didn't line it for example) but I think it will do. I will take a picture of my son when he is fully dressed on Monday.

By the way, I adapted the pattern from one in Making Magazine, and although I get really cross that the patterns are never the right size (who can zoom a pattern by 200% at home - I did it by eye), the instructions are sufficient for the novice.

Love Mrs Jones x

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Noir Collection 2012

Well, I gave you a sneek peek of this collection a week or so ago, and as most of the jewellery is now listed in my Folksy shop, I will reveal all here.
Jet Black Abstract Bracelet/Cuff £10.00

Mother of Pearl Teardrop Necklace £15.00

Jet Black & Mother of Pearl Necklace £12.00

Swarovski Jet Teardrop and Metal Stamping Earrings £6.00

Grey Pearl Twizzle Wire Earrings £4.00

Antique Silver Filigree & Mother of Pearl Earrings £8.00

Black & White Chunky Necklace £12.00
This collection may be found in my Folksy shop!

The Inspiration

Beautiful jewellery inspired by Film Noir but without the sinister overtones. A limited palette of black through grey/silver and white is used to mimic the silver screen, and the rich pearl and sparkling firepolished beads and crystals evoke the glamour of movie starlets such as Lana Turner and Ingrid Bergman.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Mother of Pearl Earrings

Happy New Year! I thought I would give my blog a facelift for 2012, and I have also listed my first pair of earrings on Folksy this year. 
They have pretty antique silver filigree balloons and mother of pearl teardrops. For more information, visit my Folksy shop.

Secret Santa

I took part in a Secret Santa on Folksy this year, and was absolutely delighted when I received this:
... a beautiful set of handmade cards in a box, and I also received a card making kit too. So, thank you Secret Santa, whoever you are!

Love Mrs Jones x