Monthly Archives: March 2014


Goodwill Gussy Up

Before I tell you about the sweet little bags in the picture above I have just got to tell you that I am so done with being COLD! The weather has dipped again and my feet are like blocks of ice. I was lucky to get a pair of Fat Face wooly socks for Christmas. I have worn them most days since and the heels on both socks have worn away leaving the fleecy lining between me and the floor. Just so as you know how long it has been cold now.

I did a wander round the charity shops and found these two bags for a couple of euro each. The turquoise-coloured one is perfect for crochet hooks and the taller, square one is fab for the various size pom-pom makers I have and together look pretty on my sewing room window.

The ‘Office’ (my PC room) is also in the middle of a make over. Mr T put the dresser unit up and I was able to put a few bits and bobs on it to fussy it up. The heart below is made from salt dough and varnished. This one was my favourite purely for the way is cracked.

Cracked was my mental state by the time I’d finished a pair of curtains…  They should have been straightforward. They are lined which makes their construction even easier… except I decided to add a ruffle. Still no problem… unless you  don’t measure accurately and the ruffle is too short for the width of the curtain… and you have to add a couple of ends but don’t have any matching fabric left … and have to use something that contrasts and looks pretty…

Luckily I had a metre or so of this most gorgeous slate-grey spotty cotton that fitted the bill. But then they looked a bit odd stuck on the ends and were shouting for a little more decoration. Again, luckily, I have a Clover Yo-Yo maker so made six little yo-yo flowers and stitched them on. Now they look little-house-on-the-prairie sweet! The photo doesn’t do them justice. They were very hard to get a good shot of but you get the idea. But what a faff.

Here’s the dresser -bought from an auction early last year and painted a chalky cream.  See the jug below – it’s a Delphi pottery (not Delft ;(  ) but perfect for a big bunch of water colour crayons. Another great goodwill find. €2.00. Pristine condition. Totally lovely. And the unit below? That’s from Ikea. It might be part of the Expedit range, not sure. Bought it last year sometime. It has all sorts of junk in hence the curtain (Ikea fabric? Yes) otherwise, you’d open the door and the first thing you’d see would be the devil’s den of crafting junk, toenail clippings (only joking) and paper collections that have accumulated and self-populated (I believe) over the last ten years.

Am off to Ikea at the weekend to get a big rug to hide some of the pee coloured carpet that I can’t afford to replace just yet but making it and shaking it all the same.  Talking of Ikea… last time I went and bought some fabric there was a very rude couple. There was Man – and his Woman instructed him to ‘Stay There’ with the trolley with a bolt of cloth sticking out like a toll gate while she snip-snipped the fabric at the cutting table. Their positioning meant that there was no way through between them – they had very effectively blocked the way. Anyhoo, we said ‘Excuse me’ to Man and he didn’t budge so Mr T turned the bolt of cloth 90° so it no longer stuck out like Myley Cyrus’ tongue.

We got past though Woman did make it difficult to squeeze through. What shocked me though, was when a young woman with a pushchair said ‘Sorry’ (it’s what we say for Excuse me’ here) several times, the nasty pasty totally ignored her. Could see she’d heard because her face got all squinched up like a bulldog licking pee off a nettle and had determined not to give an inch (let alone a foot cos then she wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on, ha ha). Man looked nervous and fearful, especially when he saw that it had attracted the attention of other onlookers also pissed off she wouldn’t shift out of the way for them. What rudeness. Man eventually moved, nervous, I think about the stink eyes he was getting though she probably gave him what for after… tears before bedtime in that house, I think! Not the ‘Ikea Family’ I want to belong to, ha ha.

My cats are  getting along better than I would have dreamed. Jess doesn’t use her claws much now and delivers testy thumps with her paw pads (she has huge feet and her paws look like boxing gloves) rather than a Freddie Krueger slash now and is starting to relax and even enjoy some play with Gracie. She is a lovely girl and follows me around a lot though I’ve no idea why. Hope it’s not a Fr Jack with his strange vegetable smells and rabbit situation…

Gracie is older than I first thought and came on heat last week. She was like a teenager at a Tom Jones concert! And there were visitors coming to the door – spraying (gah) – their ‘aftershame’ about like Henry Cooper in a Brut advert. Lucky we got her when we did otherwise she could be having a litter by now. She’s booked in to be spayed early next week so that will be sorted.. Lucky, lucky girl. Am delighted with the pair of them. My lovely girls.


Recycling old jeans

Hello Dare! Hope you had a great St Pat’s. We went to watch the parade but it was very cold and we didn’t watch it all. Still, at least it didn’t rain and the little ones had fun.

I was busy making a bag from an old pair of jeans this weekend. It’s a lovely slouchy hobo style and great for the summer and casual walk round the shops looking for nothing in particular. The grey slate spotty fabric was an impulse buy from a local fabric shop and works really well as a cuff on the bag as well as for the applique flowers and trim on the handles. You’ll see the buttons that came from the red cardigan that I posted about the other day. Aren’t they fab? I didn’t use a pattern – it’s not a difficult bag to make – and it’s turned out super smashey.

I also made a pair of curtains using some Ikea fabrics. They are straight up and downs with a ruffle . I tore a couple of strips of the same fabric in grey check and stitched that over the ruffle stitch line.

Bye for now.



Adding some finishing touches

Still finding little things to put some finishing touches to the recently-decorated bedroom. The little box with the white porcelain knob and green-patterned sides started life as a wooden biscuit canister. Same design as the bread bin that had the makeover to house the tea lights. This one got the same treatment but with wallpaper to match the top of the dresser and different coloured paint but the principles are the same.

I made the little biscornu cushion in pinks and green to add a splash of colour. It’s so easy to make and, when stacked on top of other biscornus, look tremendous. Roll on the weekend – I want to get a few cushion forms for their stuffing and make a couple more. My plan is to have three stacked one on top of another. The one made so far will be the smallest so the other two will get successively bigger. You know what I mean.

Looking forward to a long weekend (St Pat’s day on Monday – yay) and hoping the weather picks up. So cold!

Chat, Sewing

Tote Sweet

The sun has been peeping out of the clouds here. Generally just taunting but this weekend was an exception. It’s been LOVELY here. Fresh but sunshiny and painting bright happy faces on us all.

So, time to make a couple of pretty totes to carry my messages and use my lovely Ikea fabrics up. We’re very conscious of having a shopper or tote with us as we pay for plastic bags from supermarkets, etc. Free ones are made from paper which is well and good IF it doesn’t rain…. and it never rains in Ireland, ha ha! Anyway, I like to have pretty totes and they’re very easy to make.

This one has a pocket on the front for when I buy a magazine (wearing my smug ‘aren’t-I-clever’ Mrs Doyle face now, lol). It has a square bottom so it sits flat to make packing the shopping in nice and easy.

Again, lovely Ikea cotton fabric but lined with a polycotton (which I rarely buy but liked the strawberry pattern). Same basic design, just smaller with a small  inside pocket for coupons or shopping list or some other thing that I cannot dream up right now… lol.

If you want to make something like it yourself, here’s a You Tube video by Debbie Shore: make a simple bag.
Well, my free morning is pretty much gone and now it’s time for lunch and get down to some work.

Bye for now.


Introducing Gracie

Say Hello to Gracie. She is a rescue cat. Young and very kittenish. We’ve had her a week now.

Initially, Jess, our other rescue cat, seemed very threatened and growled and hissed at every opportunity. For a time it sounded like we were surrounded by deflating tyres or gas leaks and we were very nervous that Jess might hurt her but Jess hasn’t once lashed out. I think her initial confusion gave way to fascination and wanting to see what she was up to. We kind of hope that she has some maternal instincts that recognise that Gracie is a baby and will respond in a motherly way, but we shall see.

Gracie plays and finds fun in everything. We bought some cat treats which she adores. She tosses them up in the air and throws them about and gives them a thorough beating into submission before finally eating them. All this madcap behaviour has Jess fixated! Gracie even batted Jess on the nose and Jess just gave a short Hiss. We’re hopeful that Gracie will be the catalyst that will help Jess understand cat etiquette and, come the summer, be able to go out into the garden and cross paths with the various cats that wander in and out without too much (or any) conflict and claws.

We do keep them closely supervised but the signs are hopeful. Fingers crossed.

Gracie, fast asleep in  her little furry PJs.  I love her dearly but wish she didn’t want to play at 3.00 am. when she nibbles my nose to wake me up then purrs and dribbles while I stroke her. Lol!

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