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29 June 2015

Adventures in the garden: Sweetcorn

I'm sharing a little sweetcorn update today. At the start of June they were looking like this...

...and at the end of June they are looking like this! Pow! They have shot up and I'm ridiculously excited to see how they develop. I'm crossing everything I get at least one sweetcorn, just one!

I have eight plants in total, some of the mini sweetcorn variety and some of the standard corn-on-the-cob variety. I have separated them by putting three in a huge tub and five others directly into my veg plot. They seem to be happy for now but I'll be sure to share an update in a month or so.

Are you growing sweetcorn this year or have you grown it before? If you have any tips I'd love to hear them, thanks! :-)

26 June 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

Lets just say, it's busy, busy, busy at Adventures and Tea Parties at the moment and music as ever is keeping me sane! This awesome song by Love L.U.V has been doing just that. Go give it a listen and have a little dance too....why not, it's Friday!

25 June 2015

Adventures in the garden: Sunflowers

I've never grown Sunflowers before or, at least, I can't remember having grown them before. So, I've decided to give them a go this year. My plan is to grow them next to my fence, so that they have support and shelter but also so that they stand out...if they are successful.

I planted ten seeds and all except one have sprouted at different rates. The above picture was taken in May. I have since planted them into the ground, next to my veg patch and by the fence as planned. And here's a little look at how they are progressing.

I must have been a little eager with the watering because some of the leaves have gone yellow. I'm wondering about feeding them to give them some extra help. Are you growing sunflowers this year? 

Do you have any tips to ensure they produce a beautiful, big flower? 

24 June 2015

Review: Sew Crafty Sewing Centre, pt 4

This is the last part in my review of the gorgeous goodies Sammy of the Sew Crafty Sewing Centre sent me.

Included in the bundle of heavenly fabric and haberdashery were these super cute ribbons and trimmings. I especially love how the sequin string and pink ribbon have been wrapped around a peg. What a lovely idea. I'm looking forward to adding these as a pretty trim to my next sewing project! And ooh, there are a tonne of other lovely trimmings to choose from in Sammy's shop. Have a look here.

Isn't this bird motif super cute! I love how it's presented on this soft grey, polka dot card. Much more fun than a little plastic bag. 

Oh and there's a lovely yellow bird motif and other motifs available in the online shop too :-)

This is so clever! It's a rose brooch made out of a zip and topped with some diamente style beads. It would be a lovely present or a great little project to make yourself with left over zips and beads.

Thanks so much to Sammy of the Sew Crafty Sewing Centre for sending such a fabulous collection of goodies for me to review. I cannot wait to start playing with them all and I also now have my eye on this uber cute Watermelon Pincushion Kit! You can never have enough pincushions, right?!

If you  missed my previous Sew Crafty Sewing Centre posts, you can catch up on them here.

Happy sewing folks!


Disclosure: I reviewed this independently and wasn't sponsored to write this post.

22 June 2015

Blog Gem - Mathilde Heart Manech

Yay, it's Blog Gem time! For those of you that are new to my blog, this monthly interview series 
takes a look at the face behind a creative blog, finding out who they are, what inspires them and more. This month, I'm super excited to be interviewing the face behind Mathilde heart Manech. So, want to know more? Me too!

Hello there, who is the face behind the blog?

Hello! I’m Lisa, a thirty something Yorkshire lass with a taste for blogging, crafting, films and photography. I live in a happy valley called Hebden Bridge, work as a freelance writer/pr/social media type and am a marketing officer for an independent cinema. 

What is your creative space like? 
We moved house last year and for the first time I have an office. I would like to say it’s a creative 
haven full of inspiration but instead it’s a bit of a mess! I tend to hoard things and my office is where 
everything lives; flyers, photographs, craft supplies, empty mugs of tea, film posters, props for blog 
posts, camera equipment and ALL the notes. The office is basically where I empty my brain! 

If you had to take only one craft tool to a desert island, what would you choose and why?
I’d ask for a huge pile of paper and make lots of origami figures to keep me company. *Imagines trees filled with hanging origami figures*.

How do you work and get inspired? 
Finding inspiration doesn’t seem to be a problem nowadays, whether you’re crafting, doing a spot of 
DIY or writing a blog post. From Pinterest and blogs to magazines and Instagram; creativity and ideas can be found everywhere.
I write lists every night before I go to sleep of things I need to do the following day. Of course, there 
are always things that are carried forward to the following day but creating lists tends to keep me 
focused and helps me switch off for the night.
When I’m working from home I make sure I go for a small walk or I arrange meetups with friends 
(including bloggers) to make sure I stay motivated and inspired. One of the main benefits of working 
freelance is being able to be flexible with your hours, so occasionally I’ll work in the evenings when 
my brain tends to be more switched on; I’m not a morning person!

What top tips would you give to anyone starting a blog? 
1. Be consistent and create good content that you love to write and your readers will find 
engaging. Think about writing regular features, have good titles for your blog posts, write like 
you are talking to a friend and use photographs that you are proud of. 
2. Utilise all the FREE marketing and photography tools; Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Buffer, 
Picmonkey, Canva and Tweetdeck are my favourites.
3. Engage with the blogging community online and off. I’ve met great friends through blogging 
who I can turn to for advice, tips and support; don’t be afraid to meet in person!

Is there a story behind the name 'Mathilde heart Manech'?
Mathilde and Manech are two characters from one of my favourite films, A Very Long Engagement. In the film Mathilde is told her fiance has been killed in WW1 but she refuses to believe it and her 
optimism takes her on a journey to discover the truth of her fiance whereabouts. A great film, I love
anything with a positive message!

If you could go to a creative blog award dinner with any 5 people and/or fictional characters (dead or alive), who would you choose? 
This was very hard! There are so many creative folk who I follow and have had the opportunity to 
meet, however I’m going to choose 5 people I’d never get the chance to have dinner with.
I would invite Lauren Laverne for her wit, style, music and writing genius, Louis Theroux for his 
general awesomeness (and all the stories he could tell), Amy Poehler (pure joy), PJ Harvey who 
might sing a song or two and Alan Partridge. Oh my.

And finally...if you had to choose one song to represent Mathilde heart Manech, what would it be and why? 
Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite because it puts a smile on my face!

Thank you so much, Lisa! It's been absolutely wonderful hearing all about your creative world and thank you for such great blogging tips! I've never heard of Canva and TweetDeck, so that's super helpful. And ooooh, I would totally be nipping over to your table at the blog award dinner, especially if PJ Harvey did a song or two.

I hope you've all enjoyed this month's Blog Gem. Stay tuned for more and catch up on previous interviews here.

Happy blogging!

All of the images and interview answers are the copyright of Lisa at Mathilde heart Manech. Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.

19 June 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

This awesome song, Teeth White by The Staves has been on repeat and completely motivating me this week.

18 June 2015

Review: Sew Crafty Sewing Centre, pt 3

How cute are these buttons?!? They make up the lovely bundle of goodies that Sammy of the Sew Crafty Sewing Centre sent me (catch up on my last post here).

I can't wait to use them in my next sewing project! 

Are you a button fanatic? What buttons have you bought recently?


Disclosure: I reviewed this independently and wasn't sponsored to write this post.

17 June 2015

Thrifty tips: Salads

Here's an easy thrifty tip to ensure you don't throw food away and of course, help save those precious pennies. 

Salads are quite simply, ingredients mixed together with a dressing. They're healthy, filling and so easy to prepare. They can also be made out of anything. 

I love cobbling together odd bits of food to create something rather tasty. Even left over cooked vegetables from the night before or that half tin of butter beans work well. And don't forget fruit too. I love popping in an apple, orange or nectarine. The fruit gives a lovely balance of flavours and is particularly good with some cheese.

So, instead of wondering what to do with some random bits of fruit and veg, why not bundle them all together and mix them with a dressing or just simply dress with olive oil and lemon.

I hope you like today's thrifty tip. Catch up on my others here and happy thrifting!

16 June 2015

Review: Darcy's Delights by the Kettle Shed

This is the last in my mini tea review series and I'm ending on a sweet black tea note, with Darcy's Delights by The Kettle Shed

In the cute Kettle Shed box, 15 biodegradable fuso bags come packed with Sri Lankan black tea, blue and red cornflowers and flavour. The flavour isn't specified and I think it would be nice to have this detailed on the box.

On opening up the box, my immediate thought was that it actually smells of a sweet shop; incredible! And it's just as impressive on the eyes. The blue and red cornflowers make it look so pretty.

The taste isn't quite as sweet as the initial smell but it's a beautiful, refreshing black tea and full of flavour. I tried it with and without milk and I actually preferred it with a little dash of milk.

I will definitely be drinking this again as it's a gorgeous alternative to your regular black tea.
If you missed my previous tea reviews, pop the kettle on, make a brew and have a read of them here.

Disclosure: I reviewed this independently and wasn't sponsored to write this post.

15 June 2015

Simple Stylish Knitting: Stationery Corner - Craft Card

Head over to Simple Stylish Makes to check out my latest blog post on craft card. And don't forget to join in on Twitter too, with the hashtag #simplestylishmakers

14 June 2015

Styling my home: stairs

Slowly, bit by bit, I'm decorating my home and making it a place that reflects me and makes me happy to be there. 

One area, which is a work-in-progress, are the stairs. Originally (why oh why didn't I take a "before" shot when I first moved in?!) they were covered in horrid, sickly green carpet, which I quickly ripped up. Underneath I discovered these beauties!

The walls were painted in magnolia (urgh urgh urgh) but with a few coats of white paint, they were quickly transformed. Here's a little pic...

....and here's the latest pic! In my mind I had an idea to cover the wall with pictures, posters, prints and random objects and so one by one, I started putting items up on the wall.

These are technically on loan from my Mum, so I'll have to find something to replace them with, eventually. The tennis racket is my Mum's that she used in the 70s, so it is an actual vintage piece.

At the top of the stairs I've put one of my favourite paintings, which my Mum did. The bright colours really stand out in the frame against the white wall.

This awesome enamel diary jug is also my Mum's...I know, I know! It's going to be much missed when it's taken back but I'll have fun looking for a vintage piece to replace it with.

I plan to add more objects and prints to the wall and also sort the stairs themselves out. At the moment I'm thinking of keeping them looking simple but sanding them down and touching up the white paint at the edges. I did consider painting them but I feel that would distract from the art work etc on the wall.

I'll be sure to share an update when I've progressed further. Have you been decorating your home recently with quirky, vintage pieces?

13 June 2015

Fabric Jar Bookends DIY

Head over to Simple Stylish Makes to check out my latest blog post on fabric jar bookends!
And don't forget to join in on Twitter too, with the hashtag #simplestylishmakers

12 June 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

This week I've been cracking out some of my Mum and Dad's old records. I have them on loan for the short term, so I'm trying to make the most of them while I can.

One band I've had on repeat is the good ol' Stranglers. Oooh, they're sooooo good and I've always found them to be a band in their own right, nothing else seems to compare. I'm sure someone could tell me otherwise but that's how what I think when I listen to them.

Here's one of my favourite Stranglers tracks.

10 June 2015

Review: Sew Crafty Sewing Centre, pt 2

Today I'm sharing some more of the goodies the lovely Sammy of the Sew Crafty Sewing Centre 
sent me :-)

There were all sorts included in the bundle, including these GORGEOUS quarters of fabric. I particularly love the fruit one below and I cannot wait to get creating something with it!

The fabric is 100% cotton and looks like very good quality. I was super impressed with how neatly it was packaged. And a quarter of fabric is perfect for an afternoon's sewing project. 

Also included were these fun cards. My favourite has to be the one below with the sewing machines on...what sewing fan wouldn't love to receive this card for any occasion or simply just because it has sewing machines on! I'm going to struggle giving this one away! ;-)

If you missed the first part of this post, catch up here and happy sewing folks!


Disclosure: I reviewed this independently and wasn't sponsored to write this post.


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