Thursday, 28 July 2016

Patchwork: Finished: September Blue Quilt

Way back in the Summer of 2014, I won a fat quarter bundle of September Blue fabric from Celtic Fusion Fabric. Well that fabric has been sat for a fair amount of time just waiting to be made into something special.

I confess that I actually finished the quilt top back in the Spring, but as I have plans for a new quilt, this spurred me on to actually getting on and completing it!

I quilted very simply in columns in pink thread. As the quilt is for a friend's daughter, I went with the easier option of using no binding - sewed by machine on three sides, turned right way out and hand finished with slip stitching. The other quilts that I have sewn using this method are really sturdy and have been able to handle a lot of wear and can be thrown in the washing machine.

The photos have been taken on location as part of the West Deane Way walk.

My next patchwork project is a quilt for my son to take with him to university - more to follow!

Love Mrs Jones x

Monday, 11 July 2016

Bake: Lemon and Ginger Scones

I made some delicious scones with a twist this weekend: lemon and ginger. This was a recipe from one of the Waitrose Food magazines from May 2014 (link here). I also made my own stem ginger from this recipe by Every Nook and Cranny, as I was too lazy to go and buy some (yes, it is that easy)!! For this recipe, I used one piece of root ginger of the size you would ordinarily buy in a supermarket. 

I made them to take over to my Mum's for her birthday. They were really moist with hot bursts of ginger.

225g self raising flour (although I added a bit more at the kneading stage)
2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
55g butter
Lemon, zest and 1 tbsp of the juice
2 tbsp chopped stem ginger
125ml milk

1. Turn the oven on at 200C. Sprinkle an oven sheet with flour.
2. Mix flour, sugar and salt together. Rub in the butter to make a breadcrumb consistency.
3. Add the lemon zest and make a well.
4. Add the ginger and lemon juice to the milk and pour into the well.
5. Bring the mixture together first with a knife and then knead lightly by hand.
6. Roll out lightly and cut out six rounds and place on the baking sheet.
7. Bake for 20 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

I debated between topping with lemon curd or jam, but opted for the latter, with the obligatory clotted cream, of course!!

Thank you for the recipe Waitrose. I can't believe this is the first time I have made them.

Love Mrs Jones x

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Paper: Between the Folds

I stumbled across a wonderful documentary on Netflix this week about some amazing origami artists, called "Between the Folds". If you have only a passing interest in origami, I encourage you to take a look. It goes way beyond the traditional origami folds. I was particularly interested in the origami choreographer (whose name escapes me) but whose work is just breathtaking.

I was also interested to read in this month's Red Magazine that origami is set to surpass colouring as the new mindfulness activity, for example The Book of Mindful Origami. You heard it here - get folding!

Love Mrs Jones x

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Sewn: Travel Lens Pouch

Next weekend, I am off on a long weekend to Bruges. We are travelling light - hand luggage only on the flight as it makes it so much quicker when you have such precious time somewhere. Last time I did a similar trip to Venice, I struggled with what to do with my camera lenses. I didn't want to lug my whole camera bag around but still wanted some protection for the lenses.

So, this time, I have made myself a padded pouch which is large enough to take either of my lenses. It just has a simple drawstring closure.

Although it is a quick make, it is quite fiddly sewing the wadding and fabric to the wadded circle at the base. I didn't use any tutorial, just made it up in my own inimitable fashion!!

The fabric is a leftover piece from my dressing gown. As it fits so well with the Le Challenge theme of Blossom, I am submitting it over there. Check out everyone else's makes.

Mrs Jones X

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Paper: Wedding Card

A good friend and ex-colleague of mine is getting married today, so I took the opportunity of making a wedding card for her. It is a simple make that you can adapt to whatever paper scraps you have to hand, as only tiny rectangular pieces are needed.

I used my Sizzix Big Shot to emboss one of the cake layers - I really need to use these more often!

To make this card you need:
- a blank card and envelope
- assorted papers in your colour scheme
- embellishments
- glue

Cut one thin rectangle for the base/plate of the cake, then using an assortment of paper, cut three more rectangles to make your basic three tiered cake. Round off the top corners (if you can't do this well with scissors, you can use (clean) nail clippers). Glue these onto your card blank and embellish with ribbon trim and hearts, as required.

I tried to tie mine in to their pink wedding theme.

Love Mrs Jones x

Monday, 14 March 2016

Sewn: Bookmark

Just a quick post tonight with my Le Challenge entry for this month's theme "Reading". I love reading and every year I have a reading challenge on Goodreads. I always have at least one book on the go at all times, and read both physical books and kindle books. 

But I get so frustrated though with reading real books because I either end up using a scrap of paper as a bookmark or fold the corner (I know, I know). So this was the perfect excuse to sew up a bookmark!

As you can see, I haven't really mastered the art of embroidery, but I enjoyed making this nonetheless.

It is perfect for this book of short stories that I have borrowed from a colleague, "The Stone Mattress" by Margaret Atwood.

I struggle with putting in links when using my iPad, but to see what other entries there are on Le Challenge this month, the button is on my sidebar.

What are you reading?
Love Mrs Jones X

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Home: Kitchen Refresh

Our kitchen refresh is in progress. I still love the kitchen cabinets which still have some life in them yet, but the kitchen walls were looking pretty grim after six years, and I still haven't fixed any blinds up over the windows (don't worry, we are not overlooked)! I was toying with staying with a neutral palette but my husband talked me into going for something warmer, because the kitchen is north facing so doesn't get a lot of light. We selected Dulux Melon Sorbet in Kitchen + which is supposed to be easy to clean (and after a hot chocolate incident it has been so far, so good).

Here is the only "before" photo that I can currently locate, which was taken about a year ago after we bought our breakfast bar.

Kitchen: Before

As you can see, I am still working on getting the blinds: I have chosen pleated thermal blinds which are similar to Venetian blinds but have a honeycomb structure to keep it warm in winter but cool in summer. Much as I would love to go for a cream colour blind, with our cat, it seems more sensible to go for a charcoal tone.

Kitchen: After

The breakfast area: We originally had a small dining table here, but as we have a separate dining room, it wasn't really used. The breakfast bar is used all the time, from having a coffee and laptop session, to prepping food and building Lego. It has created a more sociable space for guests who can sit here and chat while we are cooking.

I love that our existing turquoise accessories go really well with the new paint. Below is the area of the kitchen that I would love to hide but would be impractical to. I am also still looking for a solution to stop all the splashes and scuffs on the wall behind the bin, possibly a piece of acrylic?

I would be lost without my meal planner whiteboard! It is one of the key ways in which I have reduced our household food budget (which is really another post entirely)!

Some of the features that I love in my kitchen
I still have to crack on with the linked utility room and order those blinds! We are hoping to refresh most of the downstairs this year.

Love Mrs Jones x