Tuesday, 29 October 2013

4 Fantastic Crafts to Make your Halloween go Boo!

A crafty round-up of some great Halloween makes.

Spooky Sock Skeleton from Martha Stewart: I love how a simple sports sock is transferred into an amazing Halloween decoration. Whatever you think about Martha Stewart, you cannot deny that her crafts aren't amazing.

Martha Stewart
There is nothing scary about this sweet litter of pumpkin kittens made from a variety of different sized pumpkins and some ribbon (although it would probably work just as well with some washi tape).

All You
These paper spiderwebs from E-elise etc. are a clever twist on the classic paper snowflake, and would be a great Halloween craft idea for children. These would look good sillhouetted against your windows or lining a tray of Halloween bakes. If you love Halloween, check out E-elise's Month of Scares over at her blog now!

e-elise etc.
How about this for a Haunted Village from Ann-Kay Home! In the dark with a torch or tea light placed behind it, you get a fabulously spooky village.

Ann-Kay Home
I hope this has whetted your appetite for some Halloween crafts. Feel free to add a link to your Halloween Crafts in the comments section.

Love Mrs Jones x

Monday, 28 October 2013

Dress Making and Apricot Crumble Cake

I have been working on an overlap skirt from last month's Burda Magazine in some lovely dark navy corduroy this weekend. I am nearly there but need to do a few adjustments before I pull it all together. This skirt will be for November's Le Challenge whose theme is Stripes, so all will be revealed on 14 November 2013.

There is nothing like a warm piece of cake, when you are feeling frustrated with your sewing! I whipped up this Apricot Crumble Cake quite quickly, and it has a delicious cinnamon crumble topping. We have been eating it cold, but I think it would be delicious warm with custard or cream (or both!).

Love Mrs Jones x

Monday, 21 October 2013

Cardiff Bay and Ray Mears

My husband & I had one of those rare moments together without children, on Sunday, when we went to Cardiff Bay. I love Cardiff, but had never visited the bay before. 

Unusually, there is a Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay! This was once a church for Norwegian sailors. The children's author, Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff and christened in the Norwegian church.

The church is now an art gallery and coffee shop, and they do the most amazing hot chocolates with whipped cream and marshmallows.

We popped into the Pierhead, which is the large red brick building on Cardiff Bay. Inside, there are some beautiful Victorian tiles:

Chevron fireplace anyone?

The tiled stairway, even the balustrade is tiled!
Torchwood was filmed around Cardiff Bay, and if you go down on the boardwalk, you might notice a shrine dedicated to Ianto.

We were due to see Ray Mears talking in the Millenium Centre in the evening. The building is beautiful, both inside and out.

These architectural lights are scattered throughout the centre at different heights

The lettering from inside the building at night.

Ray Mears was a brilliant and extremely interesting speaker with tales of bushcraft and encounters with the wild, speaking about conservation and tracking animals. I would recommend it to anyone.

Love Mrs Jones x

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Sew a Draughts Set

Have you ever done a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child? This year, I am filling a shoebox for a 10-14 year old boy. After all, this is the approximate age band of my boys at the moment. I already have pens, sweets, soap and such things, but I really wanted to sew something to go into it.

I have drawn heavily on the travel draughts tutorial in Tanya Whelan's book,Sew What You Love , although my dimensions were quite a bit smaller.

Why have a black & white board, when you can have mustard yellow and dove grey?
What you need:
Two different contrasting fabrics (fat quarters are ideal)

To make:
1. Measure out some strips on your fabric. Mine were 40cm in length and the width of my ruler (about 5cm). Cut out four of these strips from each fabric.

2. Sew the strips together with alternate colours and iron the seams flat. Don't worry if the ends aren't too neat.

3. With your fabric strips lying vertically, mark out with the width of your ruler the horizontal strips and cut.

4.Turn each alternative strip around so that you have a classic checkerboard laid out.

5. Sew each strip together, again ironing flat the seams. You know have your basic board.

6. Trim the board into a square.

7. Measure out a piece of fabric for the back. Tanya Whelan created a pouch in her book, with velcro fastening. I have just sewn the fabric right sides together and after turning right way out, closed the gap with some top stitching.

8. Add 24 buttons (12 of each colour) and pop them in a bag.

9. Roll up with the buttons in the middle and tie with a length of ribbon.

Love Mrs Jones x

Monday, 14 October 2013

Le Challenge: Thriller

Le Challenge

This month's Le Challenge was Thriller. So thoughtful are the Le Challenge team to tie it neatly in with Halloween! I have made some mini Halloween bunting in the traditional Halloween colours, orange, black and green.

To get the font even, I found one that looked Halloween-y enough and supersized it in Word. Then I cut out the paper pieces and used these as templates for the letters.

Here is the finished bunting - I think I found the worst lit wall in the house to take this!

You may be able to pick out a little spider on the end flag - perhaps a false widow spider?

If you are in the mood for more Halloween sewing, check out my fabric pumpkin.

Love Mrs Jones x

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Thirty Minute Make: Fabric Pumpkin

Fabric pumpkins are all over the web at this time of year in the most wonderful colours and sizes. Here is my take on this ubiquitous Halloween decoration.

Bizarrely, you start with a rectangle of fabric (this can be any size, but for your first one, a good size is 30cm by 15cm):


Fold right sides together, and sew the short end, so that you create a fabric band.

Next, select your longest stitch and sew along the bottom, leaving the thread ends loose for gathering.

Gather the bottom as tightly as you can and use the loose ends to wrap around and tie tighter.

Turn the fabric right side out (your gathered end should be tucked neatly inside.) Add stuffing to flesh out the pumpkin.

To gather the top, you can either hand gather and secure with thread or an elastic band, or sew a running stitch and gather. I had an orange  hair tie, so  used this and secured the extra fabric over the top.

Next, with some embroidery thread in a contrasting colour, run the thread between the top and bottom, making a stitch at each end, and thereby creating a pumpkin shape.

Insert a cinnamon or regular stick and use fabric glue to add a fabric leaf.

Love Mrs Jones x

Tuesday, 8 October 2013


... a new look shop over at Folksy!

If you want to hop over and have a look around, here is the link.

Mrs Jones x

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Fabric in Frames

I am a fabricaholic, although I know some people have much bigger fabric stashes than I do. I usually keep small pieces of fabric, even though I have no idea what I will do with them. You know they will always come in handy. 

I had one fat quarter of the fabric below, which is Flying Geese by Ellen Luckett Baker, which I used  for facing on a dress. So, I pressed the remainder and put it in a frame!  When and if I get bored with it, I can switch it with another piece of fabric - maybe something seasonal.

This is a much smaller frame. There was just enough room to put a little of Happy Home fabric behind this card, by David Shrigley, which I bought last year in the Wellcome Museum

Have you ever framed your fabric, or do you want to reveal how large your fabric stash is - leave a comment!

Love Mrs Jones x

PS. Frames from Wilkinsons