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31 August 2015

Three quick sewing tips

Three quick sewing tips:

1. The selvedge is the edge of the fabric that stops it unravelling. The grain is the way fabric is knitted or woven together. The bias is when the fabric thread line or warp and weft are at 45 degrees to the main seam line.

2. Unless stated otherwise, sewing patterns include a seam allowance and they usually state what it is.

3. Interfacing comes in different weights or thickness: light, medium and heavy weight.

Check out my sewing and haberdashery Pinterest boards and catch up on all my sewing tips here.

30 August 2015

From the garden to the kitchen: Sage Pesto

Sage is a super easy herb to grow, so I'd recommend trying it out in your garden or a pot. It doesn't need much attention, watering of course but that's it really. 

I've got an abundance of it at the moment, so much that I decided to whip it up into a pesto. This is a really easy recipe and it's soooooo tasty. I keep it in the fridge for a few weeks and use it in salads, sandwiches, marinade fish in it and my favourite, dolloping a load on top of a jacket potato or soup for a simple lunch.

Ingredients (makes about two jars of pesto):

100 grams of fresh sage
100 grams of fresh basil and parsley
100 grams of grated parmesan or pandano or any hard italian cheese
100 grams of pine nuts or walnuts
3 cloves of garlic or less depending on your taste buds
Olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Pinch of salt and pepper


1. Wash your herbs 

2. Using a food processor mix up the herbs, cheese, nuts, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

3. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil and mix again. Gradually add more olive oil to get the consistency right. You want to aim for a slighly gritty looking texture.

4. Put into an air tight container or jar and store in the fridge and enjoy!

28 August 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

This song by SOAK completely breaks my heart. Stunning. Beautiful. Incredible.

27 August 2015

Three Social Media Tips

tips social media

Twitter / Too many tweets to read? Create lists for certain categories e.g. Craft, Music, News. That way, you can catch up on those specific areas, without getting bombarded with a load of tweets you're not interested in. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.

Facebook / Keep your posts between 100 and 250 characters for more engagement. Shorter posts are better received.

Instragram / Forgot to put those hashtags in? You still can by simply typing them in the comments field below your photo. The hashtags will still come up in a search. Phew!

Missed last week's social media tips? Catch up on them here

26 August 2015

Thrifty Tips: Supermarket Herbs

You know when you buy those pots of herbs from the supermarket, use what you need and then slowly watch the plants droop before they head to the land of the bin? 

Well, next time you buy one, pick up a little bag of compost and a couple of medium sized plant pots too. When you get home, pop some compost in the pots, water them well and add your herbs. Remember, you usually get a dozen or so stalks in those tiny pots from the supermarket, so spread them out among your plant pots. Finally, put them on a little dish and give them another water. You can then have the pleasure of watching them grow, multiply and picking what you need when you're cooking. Oh and you'll save  a few pennies too!

I hope you like this week's thrifty tip. You can catch up on all my tips here.

Happy thrifting folks!

25 August 2015

Styling my home: Home Grown Flowers

You know that feeling when you walk into a room with flowers in it, they completely grab your attention and give a positive balance to that space. It's like a breath of fresh air.

I love bringing flowers and foilage from my garden into my home to add a bit of colour, texture and scent. I even like displaying dried leaves simply in a jar or letting the welcome scent of lavender dry on its on accord. 

With my garden currently in full bloom, I'm picking plants on a weekly basis and not just flowers but herbs, leaves, plants that have gone to seed and any weeds that just happen to have a pretty flower. Well, why not.

24 August 2015

Three quick sewing tips

Three quick sewing tips:

1. Unsure about a specific sewing technique? Check out youtube for a video tutorial. I find it so much easier seeing how it's done.

2. Use pinking shears to stop hems fraying.

3. When finishing off a project with a bit of hand sewing, load up a few needles with thread. Remember, don't use a long piece of thread, otherwise you'll end up with knots. I tend to go for just over 30 cms.

Check out my sewing and haberdashery Pinterest boards and catch up on all my sewing tips here.

23 August 2015

Adventures in the garden: Sweetcorn update

Ok, so prepare for much squealing at this sweetcorn update:

The sweetcorn I started from seed back in May are still alive AND the sweetcorn are on their way! HURRAH!!!!!!!

I actually cannot believe it. I've never grown them before and was expecting a massive failure in that corner of the garden but no, they are still growing! And boy are they amazing plants. If you scroll down through my timeline of pics, check out their incredible roots. They look like talons, holding on to support their massive structure. I'm very, very impressed. Since writing this post, I have updated it with signs of life - the sweetcorn are on their way folks! Arrrggh! Sooooooooo excited!!

This my friends, is a sweetcorn. I spotted it and a few others yesterday, despite having written this post pre-signs of sweetcorn life. I was sooooooooo excited that I just had to update this post. Yay!

22 August 2015

Thrifty tips: Central heating

Is it me or has it started to get a little cooler in the evenings?

I'm definitely reaching for my cardigan and swapping my flip-flops for socks and slippers. With that in mind, my thrifty tip for you this week is: don't be tempted to turn the central heating on just yet. Grab a warm jumper, put some extra layers on or snuggle up with a blanket in the evenings. You will feel the benefits of the heating when you do switch it on in the winter and your bank account will be grateful. 

Also, did you know you can ask for the credit on your gas and electricity account? Companies encourage you to keep the credit for the winter when you will start using more but this isn't always the case. Keep an eye on your account and if you're in credit by a substantial amount, go ask for the money back. And, don't forget to shop around for a better deal! I made a huge saving last year.

Catch up on all my thrifty tips here.

21 August 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

Ok, so I've had a whole bunch of music on this week from classical to dance to alternative but there is one song I have to share....

My week was kick started by Lauren Laverne on Radio 6 who played this awesome musical number to get everyone in the mood for Monday and boy did it work! I've, *ahem*, had it on repeat this week and it sure does make me smile, alot! Pop it on, singalong, dance and get Friday started!

20 August 2015

Three Social Media Tips

tips social media
Pinterest / When pinning someone else's pin, you don't have to keep their description below the pin. Simply type in your own note.

Twitter / Don't overly self-promote, remember to get involved and interact with your followers.

Instagram / to ensure your photo has symmetry, centre yourself before taking that pic.

Catch up on all my social media tips here.

19 August 2015

New Designs: Cufflinks

I have just expanded my Polka Dot Cufflink range by adding some new colours. These look great on a smart suit. Team up the navy polka dot cufflinks with a blue shirt or co-ordinate a yellow tie, white shirt and the yellow polka dot cufflinks for a smart look. Available in my NOTHS and Etsy shops.

Also new in my online stores are these handmade Floral Cufflinks. They look great with a white shirt and pink or blue tie. Available in my NOTHS and Etsy online shops.

They come gift wrapped in a cute box and in my NOTHS shop, postage is currently free for a limited time only!

18 August 2015

Three quick sewing tips

Three quick sewing tips:

1. Use scraps of material as stuffing in sewing projects. You could put all those pretty off cuts in a handmade pin cushion because well, you can never have enough pin cushions!

2. Use a water soluble fabric pen to mark out your sewing pattern. It ensures you make a lovely, straight line and easily washes out with a dab of water.

3. Keep your fabric scissors sharp by folding a piece of foil over a few times and cutting through it with your scissors. This is such an easy trick! And don't forget to keep those fabric and paper scissors separate. Paper really dulls the blade of fabric scissors.

Check out my sewing and haberdashery Pinterest boards and catch up on all my sewing tips here.

16 August 2015

Thrifty tip: weekly menu

Don't you just hate throwing food away?

I got so sick of getting to the end of the week and throwing all the out of date food straight into the bin. It was such a waste of food and money. So, I decided to take action!

Instead of heading to the supermarket and just picking what I fancied or perhaps getting standard veg to fill the fridge with, I decided to start making a weekly menu. 

Before heading off to the supermarket I would work out what to eat for the week ahead, then write down all those ingredients on my shopping list and only buy those items. It completely radicalised my weekly shop. Not only did I save a load of money but it really helped knowing what I was going to eat each night. 

This is especially helpful being super busy running my own business and living on my own. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to save a few pennies and time!

15 August 2015

New Designs: Earrings

Button earrings anyone?

As you may have seen on Twitter or Instagram, I recently added some new colours and patterns to my handmade earrings range. They come gift wrapped in a cute little box, complete with ribbon. 

You can pick them up in my Etsy or Not On The High Street shop.

14 August 2015

What's on the jukebox, Jo?

I've had this album on repeat all week. It's absolutely gorgeous and definitely gives me that urge to get crafty and creative!

13 August 2015

Three Social Media Tips

tips social media

Twitter / Put your website URL in your Twitter profile, not just the URL field. This will allow more mobile users to click on your website.

Facebook / Did you know you can boost your Facebook posts to reach more people?  This is especially good if you run a small business and want to promote your products. It costs as little as £3, so doesn't break the bank! Simply click on 'Boost Post' after publishing your post and follow the instructions. It's simple and definitely effective.

Instagram / Add text over your images using loads of free online editing tools, such as PicMonkey
Catch up on all my social media tips here.


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