Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Christmas stuff

 The Christmas tree, and...
...the Christmas cake!

Merry Christmas and I'll see you in the New Year!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

December bracelets

Winter berry stretch bracelet: This was commissioned by a colleague who wanted something for her son to give to his girlfriend, bless! Comprised of Czech round druks and a haematite heart.

 Ripple bracelet
Retro twist bracelet

Ten Days to go!


Can't believe that this is my first post in December, but I have been really busy making up orders as well as getting myself organised for Christmas. I have now completed the last order until next year, and so will spend the Christmas holidays making new pieces of jewellery to sell on my website. I am hoping to have the sales side up and running in January, so watch this space.

Photos: Top - one of my last orders wrapped in festive ribbon; below - felt stocking kit which I bought for my children to do from Wilkinsons, but ended up doing it myself!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Christmas is Coming...Mince Pies



This blog is officially a year old, and at this time last year we were in the process of moving (we moved on 22 December) and didn't manage to do many of the Christmas traditions that we usually would, so this year I am making up for it!

So, even though it is more than a month until Christmas, I made mince pies using my own homemade mincemeat (a la Nigella - the recipe was Hettie's Suet Free Mincemeat - but even though I would like to think of myself of a Domestic Goddess, I am really a Domestic Slut!). As usual I had to adapt the recipe slightly, mainly because I couldn't be bothered to go to the shops and also because of an impatience to get started. So I omitted the lemon juice and blanched almond and substituted sherry for the brandy. It produced a Christmas scented, sticky and not too sweet mincemeat.

Ingredients
250g Demerara sugar
250ml Medium dry cider
1 kg Cooking apples, chopped
1/2 tsp Mixed spice
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
250g Currants
250g Raisins
75g Glace cherries, chopped
75g Blanched almonds, finely chopped
Rind and juice of 1/2 Lemon
90ml Brandy

1. Dissolve the sugar in the cider in a large pan.

2. Add the chopped apples to the pan, then all the other ingredients except for the Brandy.

3. Simmer for approx 30 minutes until pulpy.

4. Take off the heat and stir in the brandy.

5. Spoon into warm, sterilised jars.

If you still feel in a Christmas mood after reading this, look back to my entry last year when I made a Gingerbread House

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Christmas Fair

Just returned from my first fair with some money in my pocket, despite my son wanting to buy lots of cakes from the cake stall! I wasn't really sure what to expect and although I didn't have a steady stream of customers, I did make fourteen sales, and a couple of other people took my card. Definitely encouraging!

What I did find strange was that no-one looked at any of the jewellery on the display stands, only the items flat on the table - I wonder if that is normal?


And now for a website!

Thought it was about time that I got around to setting myself up with a website, and so here it is: http://www.mrsjoneshandmadejewellery.weebly.com/ . Some parts are still under construction, but the structure is there. I would really welcome any feedback.

Many thanks

Monday, 8 November 2010

Preparation Time

I am now beginning to have a little panic over the fair that I am doing at the weekend with little nagging thoughts like, "Do I have enough stock made?" and "Will anyone buy anything?" coming into my head. And I am also thinking about how I can make my stall look both professional and festive! With this thought, I have been scouring the streets looking for branches blown down in the storm last night which I will spray silver and use to hang bits and pieces off.

I have now got to the point where I have priced most of my jewellery, but am wondering whether to make still more!!

Roll on Sunday!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pearl Bracelets


Two pearl bracelets: top Peach Swarovski pearls and above Light Blue Swarovski pearls. Very Grace Kelly!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Chutney!

Not handmade jewellery at all, but Autumn Tomato Chutney instead! The last time I made chutney was in the nineties and I had to do something with a marrow, and I can't even remember whether it was a success! But this is the season for making chutney, and the smell from the kitchen was lovely. The recipe was from BBC Good Food and you can access it here. Definitely the most time consuming part was preparing the vegetables, but other than that, it is so satisfyingly easy. I will leave it to mature for a month or so, and then try it to consider whether it is good enough to give as gifts for Christmas.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Childrens' bracelets




I don't have daughters, so it is a bit difficult to know exactly what girls might like in a bracelet. If any of you have daughters will you give me some feedback on whether they would wear anything like this, or should I stick to Barbie pink? For the first two, I was aiming for a woodland fairy theme; I'm not sure about the starry pair, and finally the little green one is a stretch bracelet.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Bitter Lemon Necklace



Shameless promotion - but this lovely lemony lime necklace of mine is for sale on Da wanda! (See link right).

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Large glass bead bracelet with stars


Baby blue large glass pearls with tiny stars and finished with a magnetic clasp. I also have the same pearls in mint green.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Blue Pearl Necklace

Glass pearls in deep blue and burgundy with acrylic retro beads in the same colours.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Burgundy Earring Commission


These earrings were colour matched to the customer's outfit for a wedding.

Aqua Ripple Bracelet


Aqua square shells with glass pearls.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Lagoon Gobstopper Bead Bracelet


When I bought these large gobstopper beads at Monkton Elm craft centre, they were displayed in little jars along a shelf, like in a sweet shop. They were expensive, but they look so lovely, I think it was worth it. They are strung with the other half of the glass druk rainforest mix (see previous post).

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Heart of Glass Bracelet

Pretty glass heart with a selected 6mm glass druks from a rainforest mix.

Ruby Red Bow Bracelet


Large faceted ruby red glass beads with night blue Swarovski pearls were put together to make this Bow Bracelet.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

New necklaces

It's surprising how well the purple and green go together in this necklace. I love the purple beads which have a hint of green in them.

Below is my Black Forest necklace on black aluminium chain. Both necklaces have been made for a fair that I am doing later in the autumn.


Sunday, 22 August 2010

Summer Holiday 2010: Loire Valley

After two days at the beach in Normandy (St. Aubin sur Mer) we headed inland, via a nervous drive through Paris, to our gite destination in a village just outside of Gien in the Loiret region.

The gite was in a fabulous location, with the river Loire at the bottom of the garden, and just fields of sweetcorn surrounding us.

Nearby, was a town called Briare-le-canal where we went on a bateau mouche along the canal and through a lock , which I had never done before, and the children couldn't understand why we wouldn't flood the boat when the water rose!



The same day we also visited Chateau des pecheurs at Le Bussiere where there were lots of little cabins hidden in the woods for the children to discover. The chateau also had an extensive kitchen garden where we picked our own raspberries and ate them for lunch.

The following days were spent in an area just over the border in the Yonne region of Burgundy where me and the boys did high ropes, which is one of my favourite holiday activities. It was one of the most difficult I have done with tarzan swings and zip wires finishing up in the trees.

Finally, we visited the fascinating medieval castle being built at Guedolon, which is a great thing to see: 35 skilled people are building a castle using 13th century tehniques, and it is estimated that they will complete it in 2025. All the stone is quarried on site, as is the wood. Everything down to the ropes, scaffolding and nails are made in the ways of the time.




Sunday, 8 August 2010

My Sister's Party











Here are a couple of pictures from Amy's party: bottom Amy sporting the memory wire bracelet that I made for her; fourth picture me - you can just see my bracelet on the left (the necklace was Fat Face); third picture warming up round the fire pit; second picture my boys and nephews posing round the juke box; top the orchard lit by tea lights.