Last time I was home home I popped in to my brother’s house and had a nosey round. I noticed these cockerel type ornaments he seemed to have a few of. I was informed they were Portuguese and he quite liked them.

The next month happened to be his birthday so I knew the perfect card design. I opened trusty google and printed a few pictures off and sketched a design.

I had the fore thought to take a picture mid way through the process so you can see what goes on:


I had picked the two images I liked the best and took inspiration from both for the markings. I think they are all individual so I carried on with the tradition and made my own up, the space ended up dictating what I could and couldn’t do. Here’s the final result (minus card):


I’m loving the pop of colours from the black!

As you can probably tell by now not many of my birthday cards actually say happy birthday but I like that about them…I hope people see them as a bit of fun which they don’t have to take down with the rest of the birthday cards.

Jessica x x x


All aboard choo choo

Last year a great friend achieved her life’s ambition and became a train driver, so for her next birthday I knew exactly what her card should look like…


I googled cartoon trains and sketched out a design and personalised it for her. She loved it.

Fast forward 6 months and she mentions she’s attending a women’s institute competition and they have a category for best birthday card. Unfortunately I had a prior engagement but jokingly said she should enter the card I made her. She did. And I won!


Here’s my prize and rosette. Yes an actual rosette!!! Haven’t won one of these for years since horse riding and I’m pretty sure green is for 5th? place but I’ll let that one slide. It was a garden themed competition after all.

Anyway I’m well proud and the book will make for great holiday reading. Unfortunately because of my upcoming holiday I’ll be missing the local home fair at home home; I was really looking forward to submitting some more entries.

What have you ever won and been proud of?

Jessica  x x x

The best burger I’ve ever had

Was the honey and rum burger at Brooklyn bar on Call lane in Leeds. It could possibly be the best burger in the world but unfortunately I haven’t done the leg work; it’s definitely the best in Leeds.

The base is a juicy burger cooked to medium. Years ago when I used to work in a bar the chef told me that you can only serve burgers not “well done” if the mince is very fresh. The logic is that the more you cut up the meat the more surface area it has to become contaminated. Believe me you will want a burger cooked medium, the difference is amazing.

The burger is coated in a honey and rum glaze, topped with cheese, bacon and onion rings and served inside a brioche bun. Whoever started the trend of brioche burger buns I salute you.

Here’s the burger:


The picture in no way does it justice. It literally melted in my mouth and I could quite easily have eaten it again. The chips were practically ignored in my quest to devour the burger and that’s saying something considering my obsession with all things potato.

This place is one of Leeds’ hidden food gems. Everyone I have ever taken there have all agreed  that it’s their new favourite burger place. If you ever fancy a truly sublime burger pop down here and you will not be disappointed.


Little mermaid bookmark

For some months during the year I am rushed off my feet making birthday cards for family and friends and then there are times when I haven’t got a single event to do something for.

All my cards are a specific size and once the fabric bases have been cut out from Aida I am always left with off cuts. One day I was looking at these and thinking what a waste they are when I realised that they are the perfect size for a bookmark! I grabbed some lace from my ribbon bag and edged a rectangle leaving me with a perfect shape and size for a good design.

I thought this would be a great opportunity to have a go at a Disney cross stitch; its such a distinctive style and I thought it would be great practice to hone my design skills. I found a few pictures I like and plotted a final design onto graph paper by eye and got started changing a few colours along the way to accurately reflect the Disney tones. 

Here it is:


What do you think?

I definitely like the black outline and think it makes the whole design “pop”. If I was going to do it again I think I would have to tweak the design and lengthen her tail but for a first attempt I’m happy.

I gave it to a friend from university whose enthusiasm for Disney only just beats her enthusiasm for reading so it went down a treat!


Watercolour origami

As many of you may know, I am a little obsessed by pinterest. I love pinning inspiration for future projects, ideas for food and drinks and general hints and tips. If you want to check out my pin board find me here. You’ll also find a board of my creations which I update regularly.

Recently I was a bit fixated on both watercolours and origami birds, indeed I sit here typing this in front of an origami crane I recently made. The clean sharp lines of the origami and the fluid colours of watercolours juxtapose in a lovely calming way. I’ve seen a few different tattoos with this theme and thought it would work great in cross stitch. I made this card for my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday and I hope she liked it.



I’ve never been the type of girl to follow a pattern. I much prefer to make my own and see where it leads me; I draw all my own patterns onto graph paper first, although I have been known to change my mind mid stitch. I then pick what colours I want to stitch with and get started. However in this situation, due to the fluidity of watercolour which I wanted to replicate, I decided to just plot the bold black lines of the folds onto graph paper. Once these had been stitched onto the Aida I chose my colours, lined them up in the order I thought flowed best and just started stitching. When I thought one colour had run its course I merged into another colour and another until the bird was complete.

Certainly the colours do not flow as they would in a typical watercolour but I think it’s a nice interpretation of the spirit of a watercolour and I rather like it!