Monday, 19 November 2012

Christmas Fabrics

I haven't bought any specifically Christmas fabric this year (yet!) mainly because I have fallen in love with so many that I can't choose! This are all deer or even reindeer related:

Momo Oh Deer Nordic Holiday Alpine Wonderland Stof Christmas Scene Santa Snowglobe Blitzen 
Click on the images to go straight to the relevant fabric in the relevant shop. I could easily buy all of these yummy fabrics.
Love Mrs Jones x 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Ipad Case

I am really hoping that this is going to be a new line in my shop. I am sure there is a call for ipad cases that are feminine, and many of the cases in the shops are expensive and frankly unexciting. This is a zipped case so there is no danger of the ipad falling out.

So, this will be the first in my shop and I will be busy making more over the next few days.

Love Mrs Jones x

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Autumn Carrot and Lentil Soup

Faced with the prospect of no heating, due to a boiler service tomorrow when I am working from home, I just had to make a warming soup to hold the cold at bay. The one soup I return to over and over again is Carrot & Lentil Soup. I discovered this recipe when I was about 14 and had just become a vegetarian. It was in a little recipe book sold by Boots the Chemist back in the days when they had a cookshop. Another great thing about this soup is that with a tiny change in ingredients it becomes a wonderful moroccan soup.
The soup is not very photogenic, so you can have Autumn leaves instead!

1 onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
Flour, a dessert spoon
100g red lentils (wash them first in a sieve)
1.2 litres of vegetable stock
Bay leaf

1. Melt the butter in a large pan. I use the bottom of my steamer as it is really deep.

2. Add in your chopped carrots and onion and cook gently until the onion is soft - around 3-5 minutes.

3. Add in a dessert spoon of flour and the washed red lentils.

4. After a minute or so of stirring the mixture, add the vegetable stock and a bay leaf.

5. Bring to the boil, and then let simmer for around 30 minutes.

6. Allow to cool a little, then liquidise. You can either do this in a food processor which gives a chunkier soup, or a liquidiser or a hand blender which both give smoother results. Add salt and pepper to taste and a little lemon juice.

To make the Moroccan soup:
Add a couple of cloves of garlic to the carrots and onions (stage 2)

Add a teaspoon of ground cumin, chilli powder and ground coriander at stage 3

Optional: add some fresh chopped coriander to the finished soup.

The credit for the Moroccan addition comes from the Sainsburys Magazine.

Love Mrs Jones x

Monday, 12 November 2012

Retro Teatowels

I found this beautiful retro fabric {Happy Home Fiesta by Robert Kaufman} in the sale section of Fabric Rehab, and knew it would make perfect tea towels. I have a little leftover in this fabric and I just can't decide what to do with it. Any ideas?

You can also get this fabric in a Purple/Green colourway.

Love Mrs Jones x

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Christmas banner

I have spent a lot of my day off fiddling around with a Christmas banner for my Folksy shop. It is still not perfect as it needs to be elongated, but at least I am happy with the contents of it. It is so difficult to get that Christmassy feel to an image, but I think I have achieved it!

I have been listing items like crazy on Folksy in order to get my shop full again. I also have a couple of Christmas fairs coming up.

Love Mrs Jones x

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

My Crafting Life: Cards with a Difference

It is with great pleasure that I am hosting my first guest blog post on my blog. I thought it would be a great idea to hear from other crafters, and today I have a post from Tanya Miller whose business is Cards with a Difference.

I am 40 something and been married for 14 years and live in Chorley, Lancashire.

My love for crafting started from an early age, so my mum tells me, where I used to spend many hours cutting up catalogues and making scrapbooks of things.  I was always happy if I had a pair of safety scissors in my hand!!  

I have tried many crafts over the years including cross stitch and knitting but card making has always been in the background and has always piqued my interest. 

My life changed quite dramatically five years ago after being ill for a while, when I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  I had always been really active - worked full time, taught aerobics, ran half marathons, did ballroom and latin dancing - but that had to stop once a diagnosis had been made as the stress on my body was too much.  My life may have changed but it has not ended and I am a positive person and try not to let my condition get the better of me even though I have pain and tiredness.

Card making and other crafts then took over my life and after making cards for family and friends it was mentioned to me that I should try and sell them so I made some stock and then did a few local craft fairs, some of which were successful and others which weren't. After a while I started selling online on a handmade/craft website before finally deciding to go it alone and open my own website in October 2011.

The orders came in steadily and also I had interest from a few shops in Lancashire and beyond who were interested in stocking my cards. 

I love making cards and hope that my love of an attention to detail shows within all my creations.  I like stamping and colouring images with Promarkers and Spectrum Noirs and I also love decoupage too.  I take orders for bespoke creations too and a gallery of my recent creations can be seen on my website and also on my Facebook page.

I recently started making wedding stationery after receiving a request for some samples and these can be seen on my website too.

I have many different kinds of cards and also bookmarks for sale on my website, some featuring my own artwork including Zentangle and Encaustic Wax paintings and also in the New Year I am hoping to have a gift section on my website with handknitted items and wooden items which will be handpainted and embellished, to name a couple, which will make my website a one-stop shop for a gift and a card.

I do have an Etsy shop open which is full of my handmade cards. 
Part of Tanya's craft room

I work full time and every bit of my spare time, housework permitting, is spent in my lovely craft room which is painted a delicious shade of pink and has at the heart of it a beautiful desk with a perspex top and sliding storage which houses the majority of my crafting items.  I like to work in an organised room and sometimes have many projects on the go at the same time to organisation is the key and so I have plenty of baskets on my desk with all the projects organised in them. 

For now I am working on lots of Christmas card orders and also a special order I am doing in collaboration with a friend who is soon to open a handmade jewellery website.  

Things are looking really good for the future in the world of Cards With A Difference.  

I have added in lots of links so you can browse the Cards with a Difference website or follow them on Facebook. Thank you Tanya.

Love Mrs Jones x 

If you make handmade products and would like to be featured in My Crafting Life series, please email me at 

Monday, 5 November 2012

Christmas stockings

Just a quickie today with photos of some more of my stockings and also to introduce you to my new series My Crafting Life, the first of which begins tomorrow with a guest post from Cards with a Difference. I am planning to do this monthly and if you are interested in being part of this, drop me a line at

Christmas is really not that far away and I am buying/making presents and have even started writing my Christmas cards! So, on to two more of my stockings which are now for sale in my shop:

Love Mrs Jones x

Saturday, 3 November 2012

London Oct 2012

I have spent the past couple of days in London with my family. It is becoming a bit of a tradition to do London in the autumn half term - there is just so much to see and visit in London. We are always trying to finetune exactly what we are going to visit and when so that we don't waste too much time travelling.

When we arrived, I took my boys straight to Chinatown, which they were a little unimpressed with. I think it looks much better at night with the chinese lanterns lit. Then we wandered through Leicester Square, where the swiss clock was chiming. Does anyone remember the Swiss Centre that was in Leicester Square? It is now M&M world which is a big pity. From there we walked through to Covent Garden. They were so pleased to find Battersea Pie on the lower level of the apple market (what is it with boys and pies!); they have a good range of pies (and of course mash)!. I spotted the Moomin shop which we popped into and popped out of straight after I looked at the prices. I would have loved to have bought something for my husband as he loved the Moomins as a child. I told my boys that their Dad was raised on Moomins, and Fred said "are Grandma and Grandad moomins?".

We met with my husband in the evening and all went to Davenports Magic Shop in Charing Cross underground as we had tickets for Tea with a Magician. The theatre itself only seated 20-30 people and the magic show was excellent and involved many of the audience. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but the magician's sleight of hand was fantastic. I would definitely revisit. 
My children nestled between the paws of a Trafalgar Square lion.

The following morning we walked from Southwark to the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth. They are undergoing renovations so the exhibits are reduced, but our primary aim was to look at my husband's Grandfathers documents that are in the archive. The box held photographs and some personal diaries which were absolutely fascinating. Again, this is something that we will go back and have a longer look at. Next year, the IWM is closed for approximately six months, so now is the time to visit.
Imperial War Museum, Lambeth

We also squeezed in a quick visit to the Wellcome Museum in Euston Square which is a medical museum with some very unusual artefacts.

Such a great couple of days. I have added lots of links for the curious!

Love Mrs Jones x

We stayed at the Premier Inn, Southwark - very convienient for Tate Modern and the whole South Bank and just two or three tube stops from Trafalgar square.