Sunday, 14 July 2013

Le Challenge : Toffee Hair Barette

Le Challenge 

This month's Le Challenge is Toffee. I have to confess that I really couldn't get motivated on this one - my mind is on my upcoming summer holiday and school (my youngest finishes Primary School this week). But, at the last moment {I am talking the 12th July!!) I had an idea to make a hair barette.

I picked up a packet of barette blanks at my local craft store a month or so back for very little money, but I hadn't done anything with them. 

Here is how I made it:

What you need

A piece of thick felt which will cover the barette
Some lace or trim
PVA glue

How to assemble
  1. Cut a neat felt rectangle to cover the length of the barette.
  2. Cut two pieces of trim the same length.
  3. Pin them to the felt so that the straight edges are in the middle.
  4. Sew straight down the middle lengthways with a zigzag stitch.
  5. Sew on some beads, buttons or other ornamentation.
  6. Thickly spread some PVA glue on the wrong side of the felt and press the barette to it. You will need to hold it together for a minute or so.
  7. Leave to dry before using.

Reverse side: You can just see the zigzag stitch
Do follow the link at the top of the page to join in with next month's challenge, and to see everyone's interpretation of Toffee.
Mrs Jones x

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Gardening Utility Bag

I found this great project on the Sew Magazine website to make a gardening set { gardening bag and kneeler}, and thought this would make a good present for my mum. You do need to register to access the project, but it is free to do so, and you don't have to subscribe to the magazine.

The fabric used in the original project were a selection from Cath Kidston. I have used a grey home furnishing weight fabric from Clark & Clark, and lined it with a grey quilting weight cotton. However an oilcloth fabric would probably be more practical.

I have never made a bag like this and it took me a while to work out the box pleat pockets - there are eight of them in total!

Before giving the bag away,  I stuffed the pockets with seeds, seed markers and twine.
The finished bag is actually quite spacious, and with the addition of a concealed rectangle of cardboard means it is quite sturdy too.

The instructions were not very clear, but once you change the reference to floral fabric and spotty fabric to bag and pockets - it works a lot better.

I think it is a great project for summer and you can vary the fabric choices to make one for a man - I'm thinking Khaki & Cream?

Love Mrs Jones x

Monday, 8 July 2013

A Trio of Cupcakes

Flora have kindly gifted me a tub of original Flora to celebrate the re-introduction of the Flora original taste, after a recipe change last year. They listened to their customers, and they said they wanted the original taste back. So, as we are celebrating, I thought I should make cakes {a trio of cupcakes, to be exact}!

100g flora original
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
100g self raising flour
Ready made buttercream (vanilla)
Chocolate coated popping candy
Wafer daisies

1. Cream the flora and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.

2. Gradually add the eggs, beating after each addition.

3. Sieve the flour and fold into the mixture.

4.Spoon into cake cases, in a 12 bun tin and bake for 15 minutes at 180C.

5. When cool, decorate as follows:

The cake with the hat: cut a circle from the top of the cake and carefully put aside with a knife. Spoon the icing into the hole and pop the hat back on.

The daisy cake: Swirl the icing onto the top of the cake with a teaspoon, swirling into a peak and add a daisy at a rakish angle.

The popping cake: Swirl the icing into a peak as for the daisy cake. Scatter some chocolate coated popping candy and sprinkle with cocoa sieved through a tea strainer for an extra chocolate twist.

Obviously, if I was making cakes for me, I would have chosen all daisies, but I am catering to pre-teens and teens as well!

If I am honest, I haven't bought Flora for many years, so I was keen to try it again to see if I liked it. I like the idea of the health benefits but I am not sure I would make a permanent swap from my regular brand. I gave a little taste test to my children and they weren't keen on Flora, however, they have been eating these cakes with no qualms!!

If you are looking to switching to a healthier spread, Flora has 80% less saturated fat than butter and is made from a blend of seed oils containing Omega 3 & 6, and you can find loads of healthy recipes at their website.

Love Mrs Jones x

Note: As a Bzzagent, I was given the flora free. The opinions in the post are my own.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Le Jardin en Juillet

This weekend has been beautiful: warm and sunny and perfect for being outdoors even  if only in your garden. We have been doing a little garden tidying and also some outdoor entertaining.

I dragged out my old bistro set, and although it looks a little, um, rustic, with the addition of a patchwork quilt and a pot of daisies, it is a great place to sit and have coffee in the shade. Eventually {and if we ever save up enough} this is the spot where we will build a summer house.

The vegetables, particularly the golden courgette, are doing really well and will be ready to harvest shortly - must look up recipes that involve courgette flowers - any suggestions?

I cleaned up the patio of all the old pots and unused vases, so we have an uncluttered path to our table {which is where Atticus is hiding}.

I have hydrangea, skimmia and marguerite daisies on one side of the patio in pots, and lupins and another shrub on the other side. 

A little vase of garden picked lavender sits on one of the windowsills. 

I love being out in the garden  - how have you made the most of the sunny weekend?

Love Mrs Jones x

PS. If you know someone who loves gardening, look back later this week for a great garden sewing project.