Totes hilare

As I mentioned in my tartan stag post I’ve got a shocking amount of birthday cards to be making over the last few weeks.

I’ve been making steady progress and thought I’d share my progress with you. These cards all have something in common…

Before you scroll down let me first apologise for the shocking quality of the photos- I really don’t like my new phone camera but I love the phone!

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I saw  this card in a scribbler shop and I knew it was just perfect for one of my friends. It makes me giggle every time I see it.

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This one originated from this cartoon I found online; I was looking for inspiration for the boyfriends sister’s birthday (she’s training to be a veterinary nurse) but saw this and fell in love. Again I just giggle out loud (gol?).

The miss sized writing on both came about through necessity from lack of space but I think it suits the oddity of the cartoons.

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My friend Abby loves Dr Who and I thought she would find this as funny as I have. I found the original cartoon on pinterest but cant seem to find it right now I’m afraid. The dalek shape isn’t right but honestly I’d done too much by then and I couldn’t just pick it all out.

So as the title says…this post is definitely totes hilare.

Jessica x x x

Tartan stag

Oh my! I have been so unbelievably busy these last few weeks so apologies for my absence.

I’ve started a new job (and had to leave my old job with the most lovely people).

I’m also 60%ish of the way through a new big project, think of a fancy dog/lion. I will be posting my progress on instagram (here) so feel free to keep track of it there. I’ll blog when its finished with the stages of completion. I’ve made sure to take plenty of photos.

So while I’ve been busy with the new job and new project it suddenly dawned on me that I have 9 cards to be stitching for October/November! 9!!! And some of them have to be made for the same time due to joint birthdays.

Here’s the first one:

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It’s for my half Scottish friend Jenna. I love how it’s turned out. I’ve had some trouble in the past with tartan so this made me really happy.

I had a few quiet weeks in my last job is took the time to do some arts and crafts in planning my multiple cards, here’s how I planned this card:

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Sorry the cards not fully completed, I just haven’t had the time to bug the boyfriend into doing it. I’m sure he’ll do them about 10mins before I have to send the card!

I’ll keep you updated with the other cards as they appear.

What’s been your experience with tartan?

Jessica x x x

Homemade turkey burgers

Spoiler…these burgers are fabulous!

I think I’ve said before about how I don’t like to buy beef mince so I won’t repeat myself but at the same time I love burgers! Like really love them.

I started making turkey burgers a few years ago now when I was bored of just eating the usual chilli and pasta with my mince. They’re so easy to make and so versatile with flavours. Here’s one I made earlier:

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Ok you can’t see the burger very well so you’ll have to take my word for it…it was mouthwateringly delicious and the chips were probably the best I’ve made in quite a while. Here’s the recipe for the plate of food.

Ingredients-serves 2
2 good sized potatoes (think- just how hungry are you?)
2 brioche buns
180g(ish) turkey mince
1-2 tablespoons English mustard
1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
1-2 teaspoons onion granules
2 teaspoons salt
1 onion
Vegetable oil
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Various additions for your burger

Method
1. Wash and chop the potatoes into chip sizes. Feel free to peel then first but this is a lazy meal so I couldn’t be bothered, plus the skin has all the nutrients in the potato.

2. In a bowl pour in a good drizzle of oil together with the garlic, onion granules and salt. Adjust the quantities to something you’re happy with. Toss the chips in the flavoured oil and ensure all the chips are fully coated. Place on a baking tray and shove them in the oven at about 180 degrees (fan) for 20-25ish mins.

3. Meanwhile…prepare the burgers. Mix the mince with the mustard in a bowl. Now don’t be scared about using too much mustard here. I can’t have more than a a slight touch of english mustard on meat but in cooking it really mellows and you don’t get the heat…just the flavour. You’re looking to achieve a nice yellowish colour to the mince (bet no-one else has ever said that). Season with salt and pepper and shape into 2 patties.

4. Bake the burgers in the oven with the chips for around 10-15mins (if I remember correctly). I usually cut the boyfriends burger in the middle to check the juices run clear before serving.

5. Meanwhile….but near the end of the baking chop up the onion and fry with a little oil. Once it’s softened up add a splash of balsamic vinegar to the pan. at this stage do not lean over the pan or else you’ll be inhaling a load of vinegar fumes!

Et voila! Serve the best chips you’ll eat for a while and assemble the burger. My burger consisted of a mix of tomato sauce and French mustard, burger, cheese slice (sacrilege I know, the boyfriend had actual cheese) fried onions and the all important brioche bun. It was heaven on a plate!

Try it and let me know what you think, you won’t be sorry.

Jessica x x x

The Persistence of Memory aka melting clocks

By Salvador Dali

This is my latest big project. I’ve always loved this painting (see the original here) and its hard to say why, its not the most aesthetically pleasing of paintings. There’s a lot of brown for a start and a somewhat decapitated horse.

It’s the melting clocks which have always struck me and judging by the amount of actual melted clocks you can buy on the high street and online it’s clear this painting has struck other people.

I like the idea that there are places where time is not important. I read somewhere that humans are the only animal to abide by time and as a consequence we are the only animals to be afraid of time running out.

Of course this painting was completed in 1931 and I can categorically say that I never met the chap so who am I to say what the painting represents. I am not going to be an English teacher about it (yes Shakespeare wrote that she wore a blue top….it doesn’t necessarily mean she was depressed, he might just like blue).

Here’s a photo of the finished piece framed and ready to go on my wall once it’s been decorated:

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Obviously I chose the wrong colour for the lighter brown; a less harsh colour change would’ve worked better but the clocks are the main focus so I don’t really mind.

What do you think? Are there any paintings you just like and you can’t really say why?

Jessica x x x

My first ever proper card

This post was supposed to be about my latest big project- think melting clocks. However I’m at work and I’ve realised I’ve forgotten to take a photo of it.

So instead here’s a look at my first ever proper card:

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I say proper because this was the first time I made a card using a trifold card. I had previously stuck designs onto bits of card so this was the first one which looked like an actual card.

A friend from work was leaving to live in France for a while so I designed and made this for her. I recall the Eiffel tower taking me forever to draw.

It’s one of my earliest designs and probably one of my favourites, it is so simple but so effective. The flag in my opinion is a stroke of genius.

The thought behind the card and the badly translated words inside (thanks Google translate….not) made sure that the card was well received.

What was your first design/project?

Jessica x x x

How I organise my threads

I am a bit obsessed by organisation of particular things. When I used to babysit when I was younger I found that they had a massive plastic box full of cards (pokemon, digimon, you know those things pre-teen boys like) and they were all just dumped in the box all mixed up! Heathens!!!

I spent a good couple of hours sorting those out while watching TV. Time well spent in my opinion.

So when I started cross stitching of course I had an organised system. I had looked on a few blogs and saw that people had cards with holes punched in and the threads threaded through. I tried this method for a while and kept them in a case.

After a while I realised although it was a good method I didn’t like how tangled the the threads could get. So I moved onto the bobbin method. I originally had one medium sized box, then moved on to having an extra 2 small boxes.

The other weekend I was in Homebase looking for house stuff when I saw this amazing big box which I thought would be perfect. Turns out it was perfect, all my threads fitted in together with having good sized boxes for accessories: cotton bobbins, scissors, pen, pencil, ruler, rubber and my multiple needle books.

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Apologies for the untidiness; I’m just in the middle of a large project which I’ll show once its finished.

As you can see I have chosen to organise them by colour rather than numbers. I don’t use bought patterns and I don’t buy DMC and anchor exclusively; there’s probably 5-6 different brands in there and for how I stitch I find it’s easier to organise by colour.

How do you like to organise yours?

Sorry this is a bit lengthy….gotta love me some organising.

Jessica x x x