Monthly Archives: November 2013



Like the fabric? I had a metre or so of this from Ikea a couple of years ago. It’s got a 70s/80s feel to it and is just lovely. So, having a couple of draught excluders that had seen better days, decided to gussy them up in this gorgeous material in time for Christmas.

The cover is made using the same envelope-tuck technique as the cushion cover except that the overlap is much closer to one end of the ‘sausage’ than the middle. If you try to cut the overlapping width ‘centrally, you’ll find it difficult to get the filler in.

They (there are two) look very well in the hall and the design brightens things up beautifully.


Finally, my teapot cosies are proving to be very popular. Made another one for a local lady. And see how the bobbly balls from the felted coaster have proven to be very useful?! And don’t they help dress up the design? I posted the template for sale in pdf format here if you’re interested in making your own:

 Annie Bonnet’s Tea Time Toastie Tutorial


Well, think that’s everything for now. Am off to Ikea this weekend so bound to find something to post about soon.

Wrap up and keep warm.




Every year I buy a new decoration for the tree (which is going up this weekend!). I saw this lovely cow bell and had to have it. It originally had some rope to dangle it with but I had some beautiful braid that suited it better so changed it over. It makes a lovely deep clonky sound.

My Christmas cake got its tree-tops a bit squashed in its cake box so did a bit of remodelling on that, too:

Now just three trees instead of five as I didn’t have much roll-out fondant left. I really wish I had bought silver balls instead of the ‘white’ shimmer beads. They aren’t white at all but yellowish and dingy looking. Oh well. Will taste fabulous, I’m sure. This cake, like the one up for the raffle, is matured with brandy and poteen so how could it not?

See the cake stand? Saw it in TKMaxx on Monday. There were three of them. Nearly bought it then but thought I’d think on it. Next day, went in – all gone! Hunted high and low  – we all know what a jumble sale that store can be – but nope, none left. A little dispirited, I went home. Do you know that feeling? Having seen something that you only thought you might like when there were plenty of them becomes a burning desire when faced with the prospect that there are none left? Well, that’s how I felt. Suddenly, I loved the cake stand. My partner was stopping off at Blanchardstown shops on the way back from work so rang him and asked him to see if the TKMaxx there had any. Nope.  Nothing like.

Then yesterday morning I popped over again and guess what? (Doesn’t take much guessing, does it?) there was one back on the shelves! It became the cake stand of glory and soon was in a bag and on its way here. Lovely. It’s difficult to see but on top of the decorative wire stand is a glass plate. It is the perfect size for my cake and was obviously meant for me.

So thanks to the Infinite Spirit for blessing me with my beauuutiful cake stand!


My Clawdius

This is Clawdius. Thought I’d introduce you to him. Well, I think it’s a Him but he’s not actually my cat and he won’t let me near him. He’s feral but comes to the door every morning and sometimes evening for a meal. He always greets me with a friendly charm-school (ha ha) hiss and won’t go near the food till I have moved away from it. We call him ‘Clawdius’ because of his imperious manner and simply for the pun. Now we know each other a little better, it’s ‘Claud’ so long as I don’t forget he is an emperor among cats and don’t try to take liberties with him.

We started this malarkey by giving him scraps of stuff we had in but now buy cat food and even the odd tin of tuna for a treat. Rods and backs, I know. But it’s getting very cold and he used to look very woebegone and thin. At least he’s filled out a bit now and looks a good weight. And we’re getting him his own little place – a feral cat kennel type thing in the garden. At least he can keep out of the wind and rain and have a roof over his head.

Got him a little cat kennel earlier this month with lovely soft warm bedding. All very lovely but don’t think he’s bothered with it! Still, there if he needs it. *****

He also looks like he’s been in a bit of a fight recently; his nose has a red scratch and one eye looks very manky and sore. I wish we could get him to a vet. We (my partner and I) will do what we can for him.

Poor thing.

Chat, Other, Sewing, Tutorials

Easy and inexpensive envelope tuck cushions

Heylo dare!

Been stitching up a storm lately, only taking a break for some visitors that stopped over for a few days recently. Lovely to see them and hope to post their brilliantly inspired interpretation of a gingerbread house that is heavily copyrighted to prevent piracy and flagrant copying! That’s still to come. Need to get the pics off my phone for that. So, bated breath and edge-of-seat-sitting for that posting!

Shamelessly having engineered a neat little segue from gingerbread houses to edge of seats I can now move on to the suite of cushions I’ve nearly finished. I posted the one above a little time ago (here ) and have added four more to the mix. All I need to do is hand-stitch the labels for each of them:

  • Hen Party
  • Pecking Order
  • Albert Ross
  • The fourth is still to be decided…

All are made with the simple envelope-tuck technique. I won’t write a full tutorial as they are very simple to do and if you Google you’ll find loads of tuts and instructables.

I’ll give you the basic instructions in a nutshell though:
You’ll need a cushion, pins, an iron, scissors, fabric and sewing machine.

1. Get your cushion and cut a square 1″ larger all round, ie, cushion = 18″ x 18″ so you cut a square 19″ x 19″.  This is the front panel and the piece to embellish with applique, embroidery or just display the nicest bit of the fabric on.



My bird applique bits:

I pin these in place and sew around them but you could buy Wonder-Under or similar so that you can just iron them on.


2. Take the longer piece and cut to the same height  as your square but add an extra 8″ to the width so you have a long rectangle.


3. Fold the long piece (mine being 19″ x 27″) in the middle. Make sure it’s straight and iron it flat. Cut down the crease of the fold to create two pieces from it. Mine each measure 19″ x 13.5″.

4. Fold the 13.5″ edge by approx. 1/4in and iron it down, then fold it over again, press and pin in place.

5. Do the same with the other piece.

6. Stitch the folds down.

7. Take your embellished square, lay it pretty side up then place  the two stitched-edge pieces on top. They will have their ‘pretty sides down and the stitched seams will lie in the ‘middle’ of the cushion, overlapping some.

8. Pin them in place and stitch around all four sides.

9. Clip the four corners (roughly 45° to the stitching taking care not to snip through the stitching). This stops the corners being stuffed with fabric when you turn it out and helps get the corners that bit sharper.

10. Turn right-side out and poke out the corners to get them looking clean and crisp.

11. Press the cover and insert the cushion.

Here are my four new ones making the Poangs even more comfy:

Spot the bookcase? It’s the one that got the make-over back in August here.

I still had some fabric left so made a cover for a draught excluder using the same basic technique. Notice the felt flowers? The bobbles came from the felt bobbled coaster I posted about here:

So, lots of fun with fabric and easy sewing. The fabric came from Ikea. Is 100% cotton and cost €8 per metre. The cushion fillers were €2.00 each. Made four cushions with a draught excluder cover for €24.00. Not bad, eh? And all personalised with appliqué and hand-stitched labels (or will be soon!).

Super little idea for a Christmas gift for somebody even if you just do the one and make the embellishments extra special.

Though I love birds, it’s worth noting that ‘You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair’! Chinese proverb and wisdom at its best. Along with, should a pedestrian wander into your path as you drive, ‘ tootle playfully on your horn’ to get them to move! Ha ha!

Speak soon. Helen

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