Sunday, October 26, 2014

Knit 'n' Stitch

This years Knit & Stitch show starts next Thursday in the RDS, Dublin. It runs for four days and an awful lot of people will pass through in that time.

Kate of Create with Kate  was so popular last year that she has taken a much bigger stand this time, which means I get to go and play  help.

She has a huge selection of Sizzix dies in lots of new designs ( I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek!) and also new this year is Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements fabric....... all I can say is if you love Tim then you will want to get some of this! It comes by the metre, in fat quarters, fat eights and jelly rolls. I made a quilt from the jelly rolls but didn't take a photo of the finished thing (how silly!) so if you want to see that you'll just have to come to Dublin!

To show the fabrics I dollied up this mannequin (it will be covered in fabric for the show, this is the naked version)..... the flowers are all cut from the Tim Holtz Jumbo Tattered Floral die and the necklace is made from some old chain I had at home and lots of Idea-ology bits and pieces.

 I used spray starch to give them a little stiffness and sewed layers together - they would be great for jazzing up a winter coat or imagine a bridal bouquet made of these?!
 The leaves are cut from a Coke can using the Tattered Floral die and then coloured with Alcohol Inks & I added scraps of fabric to some Fragments with Mod podge. I love the word bars, they add a statement to the necklace (literally!)
                               If you're coming to the show come and say hello, we will be on stand H50.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Silver linings.

This post is a bit out of the ordinary, but hay-ho.

I am a very optimistic, glass half full, things happen for a reason kind of person. It is truly rare for me to have a bad day. Don't get me wrong, I am not sweetness and light all the time but I do enjoy my life.

So, last Friday was truly crap, and looking back on it, it was just three things that went wrong. They could all be fixed easy enough (though not immediately)  but whatever frame of mind I was in, I went from murderous to blubbering wreck in about ten seconds.

But then last Sunday was a great day. All my kids were home, the weather was wet and windy so we lit the fire and threw ourselves down to watch TV, it was just cosy, no one was fighting and it was a very simple thing that made me very happy.

Why am I rambling on with this? because despite having a Pinterest board full of positive life quotes, and knowing that giving in to worry will only make it worse, there times when I feel completely rubbish and if by chance you are having a rubbish day too, then here is a hug for you and remember that it will pass.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

What do you give a Bride who owns a shoe shop?

We were recently invited to the wedding were the Bride owns a designer shoe shop and the Groom is a sound engineer. I was going to make a card but as we all know, that is not my strong point!

Last weekend when I was at the Create with Kate party  I was looking at stamps and dies to see if inspiration might strike. I came across the Brenda Walton dies and remembered that she had a shoe die..... but it wasn't there.
It is called the 'Ballroom Slipper ' die in case you're wondering.
I asked a few of the Ladies if anyone had it and my friend Veronica did. She very kindly cut out and sent me the pieces in the perfect pearlescent white card. THANK YOU VERONICA!!!!!!!

I like how it turned out -
 I used some scraps of Tim Holtz fabric for the shoe lining - it brings in music to incorporate both their interests. ( I used Mod Podge to stick it on which prevents the edges fraying)
 The 'Something Blue' paper line from Prima was perfect for covering the box.

I went around the edges with Perfect Pearls then added lace, flowers, bling and a little bow. Although the shoe is only about 5" long it takes a while to decorate.... but that might just have been because it was fun and kept adding stuff!
I hope the Bride and Groom like it and don't think its the strangest gift they received! (there is a gift card inside the box, we aren't just giving them a paper shoe!)

Have a lovely day!! xx

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy Halloween!!!

Way back in August I was resisting the temptation to show you my Halloween house for this year..... then something happened to September ( it just disappeared into thin air!) and now all of sudden its October.

So, since we are officially into the spooky month I can show you!

The  lovely ladies in Athlone did the class last weekend and the lovely Killarney Ladies did it last night, and I didn't take one photo! They were all so different when they were finished. The structure is already made so its just a case of decorating it - which we all know is the fun bit!
The kit for this house will be available on my Etsy shop in the next day or two - (send me a message if you're interested)

I hope everyone is well and getting back into their crafting after the summer. xxx

Monday, August 11, 2014


This month I did an online art course. This is the fourth one I have done, the second one I have finished!

I like them because by the magic of internet, the world becomes a very small place. It means I can be part of courses that are being held in America or Tazmania or anywhere else you care to think of.

 The two online courses that I signed up for and never finished were ones that you could do any time. You download everything in one go and work away with no contact from the artist.

This one was slightly different in that it was a day to day class for four weeks. Monday to Friday each week there were new posts. They arrived to me at 1 pm each day and I couldn't wait to open them!!

Jenni Horne has been one of my favourite artists for years. I love her blog, she is very open and happy to tell her story. She paints very sweet, whimsical paintings that just make me happy to look at. So, when she announced (finally, I've been hoping for ages that she would do this) that she was ready to do an online course I was probably her first recruit!!

And now i'm totally addicted!! Jenni is very generous with her information and technique - in the beginning I was worried that I would only paint rip-offs of her art, everything I did looked like hers (not as good obviously!) but she encourages you to keep going and find your own thread and eventually I did!

Here are two little birds, I also have paintings of flowers (that don't really look like flowers) bikes, armchairs, cars and houses..... I'm like, "what else can I paint a picture of??"

Now, the next thing I need is a framing course!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


When we went to France last month we went down to a little town called Ax-la-Therme.

It is very quaint, lots of narrow streets with these lovely tall, thin houses with shutters.

There was very little English spoken there so we had to practise our best French - I must say all the restaurant staff were very patient!

 has a natural hot spring and there is a stone built pool in the town centre. Each evening you see people sitting with their feet in it, the water is quite hot 
 and seems to be a very social thing to do!

Then we headed back to Carcassone...... I love this place, I have been twice before but this time my Mum and Zac flew in to join us. It was my Mum's birthday, here she is making the most of the retail therapy! (Apparently I only have one leg?!)
 It was 34 degrees while we were there...... seriously hot, but lovely dry heat, not a bit humid so I loved it.

So that was France - nice weather, nice food, nice wine, lovely company!!

F x

Saturday, August 2, 2014

1st August - the start of Autumn.

Well, it was the 1st August when I started this post but now it is 12.30 am so its the 2nd but nevermind.

Ok, if you look back at this blog you will see that every summer things go quiet. The sun comes out and I go outside and nothing much gets created to blog about.

 This year has been mostly the same, except we have been working  away slowly on Mums house (when I say "slowly" it means there is no such thing as a small job and everything is taking ages to complete.)

We also changed our internet provider which proved nothing like as easy as promised........ but I think its sorted now and we have something slightly faster than dial - up! It used to be that we had internet yesterday but not today, maybe it'll be back tomorrow?

Since today is officially the start of Autumn I thought it was time to get back to it, so, here is a quick list of what this summer has included....

1. Celebrating Molly's 20th birthday.

2. We went to France and had weather that ranged from snow to 34 degrees!

3. Had lots of classes around the country, which aren't work at all, they are just like big gatherings of women I like spending time with!
  Bunmahon - Altered configuration boxes.
 Castlebar - Polly Dolly bunting.
 Killarney - ATC tag books.

 4. I did an online art class with one of my favourite artists..... still learning to paint with my left hand!

                           5. Read loads of books, one made my 'worst books i've ever read' list but now I'm reading Silk worm by Robert Galbraith ( who we all know isn't Robert Galbraith at all!) it is not for the weak stomached, but is un-put-downable!!

 We have had a lovely summer and since Zac isn't going back to school at the end of August it feels like we have loads of time left (even if it is Autumn now).

I also made my Halloween and Christmas projects..... I know right?, super organized! Here is a snippet of Halloween......

So, thats it - Summer of 2014 in a nutshell!

The weather is much cooler today, so maybe it is Autumn after all....

Bye xx

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

July Craft Classes.


I was just looking at the calendar and realized that June has all but gone...... I know they say "the older you are, the quicker time flies" but I am not that old, where has the year gone??!!

We are going on holidays in the middle of July so there is a lot to get in before then, just as well I like to be busy :)

This coming Saturday 28th, I am going to Caroline's house in Bunmahon, co. Waterford and we are making altered configuration books. They will be slightly different to the one I made because I got tempted by new papers!
                         I used scraps of all sorts for mine, but in the class we will use Prima's "Something Blue"
                                                               (This class is fully booked.)

Then, its road trip time! off to Mayo I go - Kate and I are hosting the banner class (the last one for this project, it was supposed to be May, but finally I'm getting to go!) it is being held in Castlebar on Wednesday 2nd July, 7 pm. You can contact Kate for more details if you're interested.
(How you photograph a banner and manage to get it all in the shot and show the detail is a mystery to me)

Saturday 5th July is a kids art class at home, there wasn't a spare Saturday in the whole of June to do one so we missed out but we will be back to normal in September. I have kids camp classes in August, three days which you dip in and out of, or come to them all - more details on those soon.
                   There are still 4 places for this if you want to send your Smallies along.

Then the last one before I pack my bag is Tuesday 8th July,  7.30 pm at my house. I can't tell you what we're making because its a surprise (all the regular Ladies who come think that means I don't have a plan, but I do!!) 'Tis very pretty and not something i'd usually do.... and that's all i'm saying!

                                      That's it for classes, but I just wanted to show you this:

 These are our friends Kerry and Francois.They came over for the evening supposedly to help us with our French before we go away, but it lead to wine and chat (in English) and eventually Kerry and I got sidetracked by a craft project.  Anyhoo, she was using the cropodile and he was saying"what is theese" in his French accent.

Then he took it off her and set all the eyelets himself...... perhaps we have a new crafter!!

I hope you are all enjoying the fine weather and still finding a bit of crafting time - See you in July!
F xx

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cottlestone Pie - let the renovations begin!

My Mum moved again...(her 10th move, but she promises that this is the last one)

For as long as I can remember my parents bought houses that needed a bit of love and made them beautiful. It might have been just a lick of paint or it might have been re wiring, re plumbing, build a wall, take down a wall - always a new kitchen and more wooden floors than I care to remember laying!

I'll give you a quick background story to get you up to speed......

My Dad was in the army when my brother and I were born so we lived in barracks in England and Singapore. Then he left, got a job in the middle East which took him away for three months then home for one until he took early retirement in 1996.
We lived in one house in Kent for about ten years while we went to school, then when I went to college they started the "moving, re doing, selling " dance and on and on it went. They actually had boxes that they didn't unpack so they would be ready for the next move!

They moved to Ireland about 16 years ago and have had three houses in that time. This move is different though - this is my Mums first (and last) move without my Dad who sadly died nearly two years ago.
She has downsized to a 1974 bungalow in the perfect location - close to town but still in the countryside. It has three small bedrooms, a small kitchen and living room, a bathroom and an add on at the end which is being used as a store room at present.

Did you get that it is small? She calls it her Dollhouse, well, actually she called it "Cottlestone Pie" (its a song that Winnie the Pooh sings, she's quirky like that!)

She chose it for the location, the garden and the fact that the renovations were only cosmetic.... or so we thought!

The first room to be tackled is the sitting room - its about 14x14ft with a chimney breast and a  large window.

Here is the photo from the estate agents blurb:

I think whoever took this photo was outside with the camera sticking in the window because this photo makes it look bigger than it is!

That fireplace is very grand.... its actually very nice, but she felt it was a bit overpowering for the size of the room. "Wouldn't a wood burning stove look nice there?" she said.

So, out it came.

The list of jobs turned out to be, take out the fireplace and back boiler, re line the walls because they were so uneven, take out the fitted shelves, take up the carpet and lay a wooden floor, put in new skirting boards and architrave, lay marble tiles instead of a hearth, have the stove installed, add lining paper to the walls and paint it & get new furniture.

We have traveled far and wide to find the furniture, I wanted this but I was outvoted..... look at how pretty  it is!!!!

The sofas she chose are being delivered next week, which means we have  a lot to get done before then. 

I will be back with more photos and to tick things off that list next week.

F xx

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Configuration Book Workshop.

Have you seen the Tim Holtz Mini configuration books? 
They come in craft coloured heavy chipboard ready for you do whatever you want to them.......
Here is my finished project, I painted the whole thing white and didn't use all of the little boxes inside (which leaves me with two little boxes to make something else with).
I used scraps of paper from different collections and then used up lots of the trinkets that were in my stash.... you know the ones you're keeping for something special? yeah, those ones!

I deliberately kept the front embellishments flat so that it could slot in with books on the shelf, but if you want it to be on display you could put much more dimension onto the front cover.

                                                  The spine looks  pretty amongst the books.

If you want to come and do this workshop, I will be in Bunmahon Co. Waterford on Saturday 28th June. There are three places left, so let me know if you're interested - its a good project for all levels, if you're thinking of taking up paper crafts then its a great first project!
For everyone who is already booked in I will post a list of things to bring very soon.
F xx

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June Bank Holiday Weekend.

The June bank holiday means only one thing in Killarney..... the BIKEFEST!!!!!
Town is filled with bikers from all over the world, every hotel, B&B and campsite has rows of amazing bikes in front of it, and it really is the best event of the year (and we have a lot of events going on here!)
I spent the afternoon out at the Gleneagle listening to the bands, dreaming of being a Harley owner, picking out my choice of bike and since there is a tattoo festival incorporated, resisiting the urge to get more ink!

                                             Eoin, Zac, Ebony and Gilly enjoying the  sunshine.

                                Since the day was fine we had our first outdoors dinner of the year


Typically, when it came to dinner time, the heat of the day had disappeared so the chiminea was lit (much to Toby's delight!) Tomorrow the plan is to take the dogs to the beach, it might be a sun screen day or a woolly hat day, you never can tell.
Hope you are enjoying the bank holiday too!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Kids Class Reveal!

Well, this is what they did with the paper machè birds!!

 Only one painted their birds the same - and she is a twin (her twin isn't in the group).... and its their birthday today, which I thought was lovely!
 Can you see the board painted like a football pitch in the photo below? they all  had such great ideas - and all their own, I don't make a sample for them to copy because sometimes they do just that - copy, and its so much nicer when they come up with their own designs.
                                   I think I should have made more - i'd like to do some myself!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Kids Art Classes~

Eighteen little birds are waiting to be made bright and colourful this Saturday when my young friends come over to play!

There is quite a lot of preparation for this class, paper machè takes time to dry and one layer is no good, so my kitchen table has looked like this for a few days. Come back on Monday to see how they turned out!

Have a lovely Bank holiday weekend and if you're in Kerry drive safe - its Rally weekend after all........
F x

Monday, April 21, 2014

Is there anybody out there still??

Hmm, hmm (that's me clearing my throat) erm, well, after my big, "oh,  i'm going to do loads of blogging" claim I fell off the blog wagon and have only got back on today......

So here, without further ado, are some photos of an altered configuration box that I made today.

I should have cropped them and brightened the colours, but if I did that it would be another week before it went up!
I could promise you I won't leave it as long but that might be a big hairy lie,
Enjoy your day !!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

How Pinterest inspired my kitchen.......

Right, so do you remember when I had those ideas about getting my house in order? well one of them was to re -organise the kitchen to make the best of the space. This could have involved tidying out the cupboards we have, but I much prefer trawling through Pinterest to see how other people have done it.

You see, we have a cupboard up high over the dishwasher - but for some reason it doesn't fit all the way across the space. The counter above the dishwasher is used for the microwave, toaster and blender.

Then this popped up and a light bulb moment happened!....

The cupboard (which held glasses) was taken down. As you can see the walls were yellow before the cupboard went up, and yes, those are polkadots on the left wall.

 The glasses eventually went into the wooden top cupboard on the left. They were emptied of food items which went into the new larder - so far, no saved space, but more organised.

This is what is now in that space. ( There is a glass door and a window to the left which makes taking photos a bit tricky...... and remember i'm a bit rubbish at it, so not the best photos!)
The new larder fills the whole space and holds all of the food items in one place. We did think about removing the red door and making matching double doors for the lower half. It might happen yet, but i'm in no rush - if you knew how long I waited for a dishwasher you'd understand why I didn't want to cover it up!

Tim being the clever sort he is, looked at the picture on Pinterest and then made similar racks for the inside of the doors (isn't he great?!)
The toaster,blender and microwave are now housed inside the cupboard - which I like, we leave the doors open if they are being used. The inside of the larder was made from display units that a friend was throwing away from her shop. We had to alter the width of them, but they were the perfect height and came with as many glass shelves as we wanted. We had to get the shelves cut down to size at the local glass cutters, but since the carcasses were free, it was a good deal!

Some of the glasses were too tall for the other cupboards and had to stay here, that annoyed me way more than it should have done-but thats what you get for taking organising too seriously!

The shelves still need a bit of organising,the door racks are great for jars and spices,  but between this and the red cupboard below everything is now kept together.

And then, as a final touch of yumminess, I found these door knobs and they followed me home!

I have a larder!!!!! I keep opening it just to look :) The pots and pans have moved into the corner cupboard where bread and cereals used to be and there is also an empty cupboard. This was a cheap enough project, the doors were the most expensive part, but it has turned really well and I love it!!!