Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Coconut & Raspberry Victoria Sponge

I am looking forwards to Spring and Mothers Day with this lovely, moist Coconut & Raspberry Cake based on a Victoria Sponge recipe. This has been heavily influenced by some coconut & raspberry cupcakes that my colleague Sharon makes brilliantly.

To make, use a standard Victoria Sponge recipe and add up to 50g of dessicated coconut between the eggs and adding the flour (or if you use an all in one method- chuck it in at the time).

Spoon the cake batter into two sandwich tins and randomly push some small raspberries into one of the tins.

For the coconut buttercream: I soaked 25g dessicated coconut in some milk for about half an hour, then drained it and added it to a standard buttercream recipe. You may find this quite wet, so strain your coconut well and add more icing sugar if required. Alternatively, you could probably replace some of the butter with coconut cream (I haven't tried this method).

This butter-cream tastes sweet like coconut ice! I added some fresh raspberries between the layers as well as the coconut buttercream.

The perfect cake for Mother's Day tea?

Mrs Jones x

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Tomato Sauce - My Way

My children love my homemade tomato sauce, especially with pasta and meatballs, but it also works well with meatloaf or cold cuts. It is something that has evolved and makes a complete change from a herby version of tomato sauce.

Tin or carton of chopped plum tomatoes from your local supermarket
Half an onion, finely chopped
Vegetable stock cube, such as OXO
Pimenton (Smoked Paprika) - 1 teaspoon or to your taste
Brown Sugar - 1 teaspoon
Salt - a pinch

1. Fry the chopped onion gently in some olive oil until soft.

2. Add the carton of tomatoes.

3. Add all the other ingredients and bring to the boil.

4. Leave to simmer until required or at least 15 minutes.

If I was serving this to adults, I would add a splash of tabasco too!

Love Mrs Jones x

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Saturday Morning Make: a make-up bag for me!

My husband went to Italy with some students recently and returned with this beautiful bag for me!

I love that it is a good size and has lots of pocket and compartments for different things, however there is nowhere to put a lipstick, pack of ibuprofen or any other little necessities. So, I whipped up a make up bag with some fabric I was given for my birthday. 

Just so you know, I have ironed it and ironed it again, but I can't shift those creases! This is a lesson that I should have washed it first.

The fabric flower was made with my Big Shot, with a cutter that came with it - that Big Shot has been so useful!

The lining fabric was from the same stack of fat quarters as the outer fabric.

Love Mrs Jones x


Saturday, 22 February 2014

Glassblowing at Shakespeare Glass

Had a long overdue and much anticipated Glass Blowing session at Shakespeare Glass in Langport this week. There were four students and we each could make two items - a vessel and a dish.

It was more difficult than I would have possibly imagined, and I had a bit of a meltdown making the first object as I found it so difficult to keep the glass turning whilst doing other things, such as blowing, using the marber table, for example. When you sew, if you don't understand something, you can stop and think about it and then carry on, but with glass, it has to be constantly moving so you can't stop and think.

Needless to say, I had a lot of help making my objects! My first object dropped into a bucket of water and was ruined, but my second looks okay, even though it should look like a conventional dish!

I am not sure what I will use it for - buttons or pins?

Details of the course:
Evening Glass Blowing Course (currently on Wednesday evenings) in Langport, Somerset

Love Mrs Jones x

Friday, 21 February 2014

Banksy Walking Tour, Bristol

Half term holidays are never much fun when it is grey and wet, and here in Somerset, I think we have had enough of this dull weather! It is increasingly difficult to find something that might pique the interest of a 12 year old and a 16 year old, and my suggestion of a look at some of Banksy's work in Bristol was not dismissed out of hand!

We parked at @Bristol and walked up towards the cathedral and college green, onto Park Street. A little along Park Street, heading uphill there is a bridge and next to this is Well Hung Lover.

I love this one, with the woman standing back in her undies with her suspecting husband looking out the window. We continued uphill to the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery where there is a Banksy in the foyer:

The museum itself has lots of weird and wonderful things, some of which my husband said he remembered were there from when he was a boy!
When you come back out of the museum, and look back down the road, you see this:

This is fairly new (2013) and I believe it is still in doubt as to whether it actually is a Banksy or not. I like it though, and it does seem very like his style.

At this point, we diverted onto a Slave Trade trail which my husband was looking into to see if it would be useful for his students, and we headed towards the old city, and the market, then on to Queens Square.

On the last stretch of the route, we spotted this Banksy on a boat in the Mud Docks.

If you are interested in doing a similar walk, I have plotted our path below. I confess that I am a little hazy as to where the old city and market actually is! Some of the other highlights were Llandoger Trow and Hole in the Wall from Treasure Island.
Mrs Jones x

Friday, 14 February 2014

Le Challenge Rising Sun: Cherry Blossom Clutch

Konichiwa! My interpretation of this month's Le Challenge Rising Sun is a Cherry Blossom Clutch. Cherry Blossom is synonymous with Japan, and one year, I would love to go and see it for myself.

I used this great fabric for the outer fabric, which my Mum gave to me, it's a silky jacquard but is quite heavy - goodness only knows what it's original intention was! Inside is a spotty cotton fabric (I do regret not putting something a little fancier in there).

I used my Big Shot to cut out a basic flower shape, then I cut a wedge out and sewed it back up to make a slightly more 3d flower shape.  With a bit of blusher and a pink fabric centre, the cherry blossom was complete.

A magnetic clasp keep everything secure without needing to fumble around with a zip when you might have had a drink or two!

If you are interested in making a basic clutch, I have a tutorial here.

Link up your Rising Sun projects to Le Challenge now, or come and join in next time. New challenges are posted on the 15th of the month.

Love Mrs Jones x

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sewing for My Home: Apple Pie Ottoman

This Apple Pie Ottoman is the product of a rainy Saturday afternoon (like we don't have enough of them in the UK at the moment!) when there was too much football on the TV (the perils of having boys) and I needed some craft time. The fabric is a really luxurious off-cut from my sister in a home decoration weight.

To make this, I used a pattern from Tanya's Whelan's book Sew What you Love, although, as usual I have moderated it (I used one continuous strip instead of four pieces for the edge, added a zip underneath and dispensed with the muslin bag, as other reviewers found it difficult to insert at the end).

Really rocking this colour combination. I may need to re-design my lounge colours now!

My best attempt at matching the stripes!!

Mrs Jones x

Monday, 3 February 2014

February Lust List!

All these love-ly items are handmade and sold by UK makers on! I am keeping my eye on those heart hooks for the next wedding that we go to.

February Lust List

Mrs Jones x

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Introducing The Selvedge Valentines Card!

Selvedge: an edge produced on woven fabric during manufacture 
that prevents in from unravelling

... in other words, it is the bit of fabric that gets thrown away at the end of a project! However, if you look at the selvedge, sometimes it is more than a white strip of fabric, and I have noticed a few projects popping up on Pinterest and the blogosphere where crafters have used the selvedge, for example, Vintage Ric Rac has used hers to create a magnificent dress.

With this in mind I discovered a tiny scrap of fabric which happened to have hearts on the selvedge - the Selvedge Valentines Card was born!

I have added a strip of fabric as a backing, which you can glue or sew on! If you sew, you may want to cover the stitching on the inside with a piece of paper.

I do confess that this is the kind of Valentines card that I would love to receive - nice and simple and Seamstressy!! 

Love Mrs Jones x

Fresh Sewing Day - 1st February 2014

A little recap of January 2014, and a link up to Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts. Many of my January projects have been heavily influenced by using my new gift, the Big Shot Machine {seen in the HST quilt and Thank you card}, and I am looking forward to a whole raft of possibilities with it. No dressmaking in January, but I do have the Deer & Doe Sureau dress to make either in February or further into Spring.

Lily's Quilts
Come and join in, by clicking the button above!

Love Mrs Jones x