Monthly Archives: June 2018


Using up fabric stash

My stash of craft cotton and other stuff was getting silly. There were off-cuts and remnants that would never get used so they got bagged up (a big bag) and taken to the Noah’s Ark charity shop in Kildare.

There was still a lot left so I made a quick pincushion. The original pattern for the pincushion had a circular base and top but attaching the sides to circles was too frustrating to be bothered with. I unpicked the circle leaving just the sides with their petals. Then I made a quick octagonal template in Illustrator and fitted the sides to octagonal top and base. The template is perfect. My sewing less so, especially as the petals weren’t proportionate to my new template, but it does its job and looks cute.

Here’s the template for the octagonal pincushion: Octagonal Flower Pincushion PDF

No instructions with the PDF but you can follow the steps below; it’s not complicated.

1. Sew the sides together along their lengths, press seams out then clip so that they curve easily.

2. Sew the petals right sides together two at a time leaving the straight edge open. Clip their curved edges and snip off the tip at the point of the petal.

3. Turn out and press.

4. Pin a petal to the top of each side panel, right side of petal to the right side of the panel, facing down.

5. Line up the seam allowances and stitch each side panel to each side of the octagon top.

6. Do the same with the base but leave an opening to turn the pin cushion right-side out.

7. Stuff then hand stitch (ladder stitch is great for tidy seams) together.

Ta Dah! A new pincushion made from the Octagonal template. So much easier to work with straight edges. It’s much tidier. In fairness, I was trying to re-use the sides and petals from the original template with the new octagonal template and didn’t make a great job of it.

Am very happy with it.

Then I made a few other bits and bobs: a couple of hearts with some left over trim. The house is a sewing case and is – yes, you guessed – inspired by Tilda. It was made a while back on one of my many other stash-busting campaigns but came in handy for these little projects.

A Tilda-inspired hedgehog just waiting for her paws and decorated with left over trim and rick-rack. Sweet.

Time for tea. Bye now!


Newbridge Yarnbombing

Apart from those designed for less than life-friendly activities, what kind of bombs are there? Bath bombs – yay! Love a bit of fizz and bubble in the bath! Sex bombs… well, you’ve either got it, or you ain’t. Love bombs – they’re cool, too. But what about Yarn bombs? Newbridge has a week of fun for its June festival. The June Fest hosts loads of events, activities and fun – including the brilliantly mad and colourful yarnbombing in Liffey Park. We went along to see the park dressed up to the nines for its annual make over .

Aren’t the sunflowers amazing? I should have taken a recording – when the wind blew they undulated beautifully. I loved these.

I think this was some kind of weird sacrificial offering to the river Gods… lol.

The Swan statue – wearing a crocheted swimming cap in case it fancied a dip in the Liffey.

The only snakes in Ireland, thanks to St Patrick, are crocheted ones. Fancy a game of snakes and ladders anyone?

Buzzy bees.

Probably a DUI. Should have used the cycle path.

A closer look at the Swan statue and a glimpse of the Liffey Arms across the road.


Not far from the Curragh. Looks like this pair lost their way a bit, though.

Pom-poms galore.

More bees! Friendly ones. No stings in their tails.

Tree hugging to lamp post hugging.

A strange monster spider beastie thing! An indigenous species exclusive to Newbridge. I believe it poses no threat to human life forms but is deadly to socks. Or willie warmers. 🙂

More lamp post love.

There were loads more – the park was totally rocking its gladrags! Nice way to spend the morning before following the nature trail round the park.

We weren’t sure if Bad Lippspringe Way mightn’t turn out to be a very bad road, father… so we took the good road home.

Happy Days!



Lions are the king of the jungle. Dandelions are the king of the fields and gardens. Everywhere. There’s no disputing the tenacity of these weeds. Their taproots go down to the devil’s doorstep, I swear. They have the sinewy strength of  a champion arm wrestler on steroids. Yet how delicate and pretty are those seedheads? Pure fluffy white bobbles of loveliness. But those bobbles blow off and the seeds disseminate like crazy bananas into legions of dandelions. Dandelion control is one, long, exhausting battle. I concede that I will never win the war but try to preserve some space for other flowers, paid for with hard-earned money and planted with care and tenderness. I do make use of them so that their invasion and occupancy aren’t entirely one-sided though …. (cue Dr Evil maniacal laugh).  I eat the leaves in salad (using ones from my back garden, far from petrol and diesel particulates) as they are tasty and have diuretic properties. I cut them with lovely full seedheads and give them a good shhuzzhh of hairspray and pop them in a teeny tiny teapot for display. They are very sweet and pretty and last for a year or so.

I refuse to use any form of chemical weed killer. Just more contamination. Read about Round Up and glyphosate here: It’s sad to read, almost daily, of how many species of ANYTHING – insects, spiders, fish, animals, etc, are on the endangered list. I try to do my bit to encourage some bio-diversity in my garden. Bee, butterfly and insect-friendly flowers and shrubs. I leave a small area uncultivated for ground-burrowing bees. There’s a small clump of nettles just for the butterflies to lay their eggs. We can all do simple things like this to help nature out a bit. Talking of butterflies, I was out shopping yesterday and was dismayed to see Home Store and More selling f***ing BUTTERFLY NETS. With so many butterfly populations in decline this store is selling nasty butterfly nets as toys for children. They are almost as soft as a plastic sieve. No butterfly will survive being caught  in one but Home Store and More want to make some cheap change by selling them to kids for summer fun. Gah!

Changing the subject, last night I went to see the legendary and wonderful Jerry Fish:

Tremendous fun. The fan dancer was amazing. It was a great show and everyone came out feeling happier for it. We sang along, stood up in our seats and danced on the stage. Men hugged and danced together. Barriers and inhibitions were broken down so we could just have fun. Don’t get me wrong – this wasn’t a Roman orgy with naughty cameras upskirting togas or anything. Just fun. Let your hair down and dance like nobody’s watching type of fun. I wish every Saturday night was like that.

I have another bright spot, to look forward to – next week am going to see Further Ted and there’s to be a Lovely Girls Competition! I’ll be practicing my lovely laugh all week.

Anyhoo, right now I’m sitting here with a home made facepack (Rose Water and Glycerine, Castor Oil, Multani Mitti (Fullers Earth but sounds much more exotic in Hindi) with Aloe Vera gel and also a hair treatment made from Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, a drop or two of lemon oil and grapefruit oil, topped off with a Minnie Mouse shower cap. Very attractive! A contender for the Lovely Girls Competition???

Now for a good shower and shampoo. This party’s over. I’m going home.


Queen Anne’s Lace- Free Ps brush for your collection

My garden has many flowers that I cannot name. I have recently been informed that I have Wild Carrot growing in my front garden, or its alternative name that I prefer, is Queen Anne’s Lace.  I came up with a very stylised but pretty design for the flower heads and turned it into an ABR brush.

The settings I used were:
Spacing: 170%

Size Jitter: 90%

Min Diameter: 10%

Scatter: 250%

Colour – Foreground to Background: #F23055 and #4977F9.

Here’s the brush for you.


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