Book Review: Every Which Way – Crochet Borders By Edie Eckman & a Giveaway!

everywhichwaycrochet*** Giveaway now closed ***

winner was Sarah @yarnanblarney. Congratulations !

I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Edie Eckman’s latest book
‘Every Which Way Crochet Borders, 139 Patterns for Customized Edgings’ Having been familiar with Edie’s work, I was delighted to be asked to participate in the blog tour of the book and today its my turn.

Published by Storey Publishing and out since 7th February, here’s my take on her latest offering.

This books offers more than 100 borders, well that’s 139 to be exact for your projects. Each one has step by step text instructions and easy to read symbol charts for each border.

The borders range from narrow to simple designs to wide and more complex designs.  So all the designs are aimed for the beginner and the more advanced crocheters alike.

There is a border directory included, which lists each border in picture format and gives the page number, so no flicking back and forth trying to locate the page.

She gives help with working on knitted fabric, woven and non woven fabric.  Choosing colours for your borders and especially your base round.  How to handle corners and troubleshooting fabric flatness.  She gives direction on stitch multiples and why whey matter, there is a good section on the maths behind this, maths was never my strong point, I’m afraid.

Each pattern can be approached in both rounds and rows, she gives full detailed pictures and charts on this, really valuable especially if you are a visual learner like me.

I used one of her borders on this blanket, remember I blogged on it here, finally its finished ! ta-dah what you think ? I used copper for the border.  This border is no. 62 but from her previous book.

everywhichwaycrochet2

But don’t despair, Storey Publishing have given permission to share one of the patterns from the book, I choose pattern no. 121.

everywhichwaycrochet - pattern no 121

All in all, a great book to help you finish off those crochet designs  that you have lying around.  If you are like me and struggle with that final bit, this book will definitely help you along the way

GIVEAWAY!

And now for the best bit, the good people at Storey Publishing are giving away a copy of the book to one of you lucky lot, so to win, please like and comment either here on the blog or on Instagram, you can find me here.  I will announce the winner on Saturday. (Opened Worldwide)

To find out more on Edie and her work, have a look here and to find out more about the blog  tour, click on image below.

Till next time !

Maura

 

 

Five minutes with Simple Stylish Makes

Yahoo my interview with Simple Stylish Makes is up, if you want a quick read have a peek over here . Thanks to Joanna from Adventures and Tea Parties for asking me !

One of my next blog posts is going to be crochet related and if any of you are fans of Edie Eckman, stay tuned  ……. there might even be a giveaway!

Nothing else to report, busy prepping shop stuff at the minute, here’s a few peeks behind the scenes and if you want to follow me on Instagram where I post daily updates, I am right here

 

Laser Cut Wood Earrings made by The Messy Brunette

shamrock1

Rude Embroidery - its not all florals !

 

Till next time!

Maura

A Crafty Catch Up

Well we are into the beginnings of the new year that is 2017, so wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Like you all, I suppose I ate my way into a sugar coma and drank way too much.  If I see any more turkey sandwiches, i’ll throw up! I don’t do new year resolutions but we did manage to buy a Nurtibullet at the sales, so a major detox & some healthy choices are on the way, once the kids are gone back to school!

In between, I did manage a few projects …………………..

I won this little sticker pack from Happy Stickers on Instagram. You can find them on Etsy here  Really simple and easy to use, just peel and stick to your surface, these ones were personalized to my son’s name. Cute eh? Id love to try more in my craft room. Sorry for the last photo, too many little excited helpers!

Using stickers to update your kids bedroomsUsing stickers to update your kids bedrooms

I managed lots of crochet hats and scarves for some Etsy orders with my shop.  Here’s some.  I used a pattern from TLYarnCrafts, you can find her shop here. Toni has a great range of patterns.

Crochet Hat & Scarf Set made by meCrochet Hat & Scarf Set made by me

This scarf, I did for myself for a new coat, love this yarn so soft.  Its Wendy super chunky, I used some of this yarn before here and its a favorite for scarves.  Its a simple cowl and I must write up a quick pattern.

Crochet Scarf in Mustard

I managed to fit in some Embroidery, this kit is from Tamar Nahir Yanai , you can find her new website here.  I love her work and this little hoop is going on a feature wall I am working on.

Embroidery Kit

My love affair with Embroidery is continuing on, I really love it, I managed to get myself some of these hand dyed embroidery yarns from Jessica of Little Twig Designs.  I just need to figure out a special project for them now.  You can find Jessica’s shop here.

threads

My first 2017 order came through and its a little crochet hat and booties for a newborn, so tiny so cute!  You forgot how small babies are.

Crochet Hat and Booties for Newborn

I have a few plans for my Etsy shop, I have been working on some wooden jewellery designs, I just need the kids to go back to school so I can sit down with no interruptions!  Also I have been working on a big embroidery piece.  Its one of the biggest pieces I have ever done & its causing me a bit of stress! Here’s a peek …

stag

I am also working on a crochet blanket, the spice of life cal from Sandra Cherryheart, just taking my time with this. Love the colours. You can find more about this blanket here.

spiceoflife

Finally, are you still with me? this turned into an epic post ha!

I am loving this fabric and planning on making more hoops using it,  this one was for my niece.

Embroidery Name Hoop

So what are you working on? anything interesting ? Any plans for projects in the new year?

Till next time !

Maura

Christmas Stars with Felt & Glitter

Only 1 week left till the big day! are you ready? have you everything done? or are you running around like a headless chicken? hhmmm I find I like the build up & if I am organised I enjoy it more.

I made these a few weeks back so thought I would share, so here’s a quick little tutorial on making some glitter stars using some glitter fabric. Its kinda a follow on post from last week, you can read it here.  What can I say, I love a bit of glitter !

These are perfect to hang around the house or gift for those last minute token presents. My kids gifted some to their teachers.  On some I used felt and on others I used some Christmas fabric against the glitter.  I was just experimenting really but I thought they turned out ok.  Here’s some.

Fabric Glitter Star - Tutorial

Materials Needed:
Glitter Fabric, I get it from CloudCraft
Square felt pieces or fabric
Scallop scissors
Sewing machine & thread to match
Stuffing
Twine or ribbon

  1. Take your glitter fabric piece and cut out your star shape. I just traced the shape on the back and cut, the fabric is pretty sturdy.
  2. Now take your piece of felt,  and machine sew the glitter star shape onto the felt piece. Don’t forget to leave a little bit open for the stuffing.  When you have the stuffing in, place your bit of twine/ribbon inside near the tip  & finish sewing the star to the felt piece.
  3. Using your scallop scissors, cut around the felt, don’t cut too near your sewing line, you want to to leave a little scallop edging.  See the picture below.
  4. Fabric Glitter Star - TutorialThat’s it, all done! you don’t necessary have to use the glitter fabric, you can use this method with plain fabric, but the glitter fabric makes it sturdy and of course its glitter, any excuse to use it!

This more than likely will be my last post for 2016, so wishing you all a Happy & Peaceful Christmas.

See you in 2017!

Maura

Fabric Glitter Star - Tutorial

Fabric Glitter Star - Tutorial

 

 

 

Advent Craft Swap

Another little craft swap I decided to participate in.  I found out about this through Instagram, not sure who tagged me but thank you !

So #AdventCraftSwap was thought up by Fionnuala from the blog Three Sons Later.  Fionnuala is a fellow Irish blogger who’s blogs about parenting, crafts and life in Germany with her Bavarian husband and yes her three sons.  I first came across her blog on Twitter and I liked the German aspect as we have a Bavarian girl in our family.

So the idea was to sign up and make something festive and swap with your allocated partner.  No more than 5Euro was to be spend on materials.  Great idea I thought,  and I had just the project to do. So here’s my gift, it has winged its way to Emily in Athy and she liked it, yay!

Advent Craft Swap - read about my project here

 

Advent Craft Swap - read about my project hereThe pattern I used was from Romantic Motifs by Carina Envoldsen Harriswhich I blogged
about here.  Another chance to use one of her lovely patterns.

I received my gift from Aine.  She  handmade some Lemongrass Bath Salts. I love Lemongrass! Thank you Aine, I have used some of it already.

bathsalts

Have you done any craft swaps for the season ? 

Till next time!

Maura

 

Glitter Christmas Star Hoop Decorations

A quick Christmas project for you!

Glitter hoop Decoration : a quick how to ...

Who doesn’t like glitter and especially this time of year, its expected right?!  This project uses some glitter fabric, yes you can actually buy glitter fabric.  I get mine from this shop.

Supplies:

  • Hoops, I used 4inch
  • Fabric to match the size of our hoop
  • Glitter Fabric, it comes in a sheet
  • Wonderweb
  • Scissors
  • Shape you want to use, I used a cookie cutter in the shape of a star
  1. Cut your base fabric to match the size of your hoop
  2. Using the wonderweb material, mark out your shape & iron it  onto the glitter fabric, then cut out the shape.
  3. Peel off the wonderweb and place your shape on your base fabric, then you iron your star onto your base fabric.  The adhesive from the wonderweb helps to stick it.
  4. Then hoop it up, stick on a ribbon and its ready to hang!

Here’s some I made.  I have one pair left currently in my Etsy Shop, along with some other Christmas goodies.

Glitter Star Decoration : a quick how to ...

 

 

Till next time !

Maura

A day out at The Irish National Crafts & Design Fair

My day at the Irish National Crafts & Design Fair

I decided to head to the National Crafts and Design Fair, held in the RDS Dublin over the weekend.  This is what happens when you manage to get a babysitter for the day!

There are over 500 designers and crafts people who showcase their wares at this event and its one of the largest in Ireland.  There’s food, fashion and unique products from ceramics to jewellery to furniture, all handcrafted.  There was even demonstrations for wood turning on the day we attended.

As it was Saturday, it was a busy day, but we did fit in a lot. I managed to take a few pictures but of course it was hard as people were everywhere! Here’s a few ……

Gotta love this stall and all the buttons, a serious dedication to her craft!

ncsbutton

Hats and more hats, I loved this stall, as you know I love a hat!

ncshats

ncsceramic2One of my favorites was Claire Molloy Ceramics, I confess to knowing Claire and working for many years with her Mum, but I never saw her work in person.  I was impressed, she makes these gorgeous ceramic pieces that incorporates horses hair.

ncsclaire1I purchased this little piece, its from her new collection The Equus Collection.

ncsceramic

I found the Guaranteed Irish Village, which was impressive.  Guaranteed Irish have re-branded and I remembered the iconic logo from years ago.

ncsgi

They promote and lobby on behalf of their members, and build awareness of buying goods and services in Ireland worldwide.  You have to join and become a member, and there is a criteria to meet.  You can find more about Guanantee Irish here.

Here’s some of their members, but please go and have a look on their website for more Irish Designers and Businesses here

  • Irish Country Hotels –  small independent family owed Irish Hotels.
  • Jando Design – they create modern wall art and stationery, run by husband and wife team, Julie & Owen.  I like how got started, you can read about it here.
  • Burkes Joinery – they are the creators behind the Irish Telephone box. I loved these and of course I can remember the old ones back in the day!  You can read the story behind these here

ncstelephone

 

 

Magee Clothing – who doesn’t remember them? They are a 5th generation Irish family clothing business.

  • Emma’s Soy Candles – all natural and only fragranced with pure essential oils.  My sister swears by these candles and I purchased one myself to try. A beautiful stand.
  • Donegal Socks – traditional tweed socks made in Donegal,  my mother purchased some of these, my Dad loves them!

I found Holos Skincare, and I can recommend creator Niamh’s products, as she supplies my local healthshop.  You may remember her from Dragons Den.

Two others I loved were Maple Tree Pottery, you might remember I mentioned Karyn in my previous post here , I didnt get time to met Karyn, when I called she was very busy and I didnt want to interupt.  Another gorgeous stall was Rowan Beg Design Studio, please do have a look at her website, I was so entralled I forgot to take a picture! They design and make pebble art and candles, really interesting pieces.

After I literally walked the feet off myself, it was time to go home.  I didn’t get around to all the stalls and some were just so busy it was hard to get a good look, but I did manage to nab a fairy door for the smallie.

ncscards

Definitely will be returning next year

Till next time !

Maura

#ThankStitching – With Amy from Random Acts of Amy

#ThankStitching is a series of daily posts (and hourly posts on Thanksgiving) in the month of November in which needle artists from around the world submitted their thoughts on why they are thankful for their particular needleart.  The brain behind this is the lovely Amy from Random Acts of Amy.  Amy is a hand embroidery artist based in Chicago and has been featured in many places like Mollie Makes and Mr X.Stitch.

So I decided to put my name down for this and participate.   To be honest, I was a little bit apprehensive when I saw the list of names , as some of these people I recognized straight away from following them on Instagram and my oh my their work is beautiful. But I had committed so no going back!

So here’s one of my pictures I submitted, and you can read my post on Amy’s blog.  Just click here.

youanchorme2

 

You can also read the other participants posts on Amy’s blog here.  She has included their social media links so you can go and stalk ….. ahem …. look them up.   A great way to find other stitchy creatives.

anchorme2

Till next time!

Maura

PS I have some Anchor hoops available here

My Handmade Christmas

Is it safe to mention the C word yet?! Well its nearly upon us, so this is for those of you who are starting to think of their Christmas shopping.

This year, I have decided to buy handmade items for family members, ( whether they like it or not !).  I normally try and do something myself but I have been busy with my Etsy shop and other craft events, so I made a point of buying handmade this year to support other makers.

Some of the people I found through Instagram and some through the blog, its a great way to find other makers and to be honest, its a great way to support each other.

Here’s a couple of pictures of my purchases.  I have included the relevant links to their shops and social media accounts.

First up is Kasia from The Crafty Mummy blog, she makes these amazing crochet statement necklaces.  Her Etsy shop is here.

My Handmade Christmas - Chunky Crochet Necklace

These ceramic stars are from Maple Tree Pottery , aren’t they gorgeous?!. I found Karyn on Instagram and her work is amazing,  if you want to order, click here.  I am hoping to see more of her work at The National Crafts & Design Fair.

My Handmade Christmas - Ceramic Stars

This little pin is from one of my favorite makers, Teresa from Shirley Rainbow.  I thought this would make a perfect gift for my son’s playschool teacher.  Teresa blogs here and her shop is on Folksy

My Handmade Christmas - Felt Brooch

Another favorite, and its Joanna from Adventures and Tea Parties.  I love her shop and she makes really quirky accessories.  This personalised handkerchief  is for my sons, well for their granddad, whom they call Pop. Joanna has shops on Etsy and NOTHS

My Handmade Christmas - Personalised Hankie

Next up and its Aideen.  Aideen is a Galway girl ( can you hear the song now ) and her blog is called Pieces By AideenShe has a pretty cool YouTube channel here and she also is on the Prima Design Team, please do check her out.

She is amazing with weaves and she made me one a while ago which I was meaning to gift but I loved it so much, I kept it! Sorry Aunty Mary …

My Handmade Christmas - Weaving
This really wasn’t a gift, well I suppose it was a gift to myself ! a personalized wooden sign from Things We Left Behind,  what a great name, love to know the story behind that.  Darren made this up in no length and it just makes me happy when I see it.  Like I’m legit now or something ha!

My Handmade Christmas - Personalised Sign

That’s it, I hope you like the pieces and maybe you will give them a shout out or a visit.  Of course there are loads more I could mention and I hate leaving anyone out but there is a limit to my
funds!

Happy shopping, till next time!

Maura

PS here’s my link to my Etsy if you want a peek, I have updated it with some bits, like these ….. and I post daily updates on Instagram

My Handmade Christmas - hoops by theMessyBrunette

Book Review – Romantic Motifs by Carina Envoldsen-Harris

I finally was able to sit down and go through this lovely book after a some what chaotic few months. Thanks to the lovely people at Search Press I got my hands on it.

rommotifs

Written by  Carina Envoldsen-Harris, a Danish designer & blogger living in the UK.  She blogs here and has written extensively on embroidery.  She also has a shop under the name of Polkaandbloom where she sells her lovely patterns.

The book’s title is

Transfer & Stitch
Romantic Motifs
over 60 reusable motifs to iron on and embroider. 

When I saw that you could iron on the designs, I was delighted because sometimes as you know its hard to get those lines exactly as you want!

The books includes:

  • 32 stitched samplers, with notes on the stitches and what DMC threads are used.
  • 32 reusable iron-on transfer sheets with over 60 designs, yes you read that right! Even when the designs are all ironed out, you can still keep them and trace with them.
  • Instructions on the stitches used
  • List of materials you need to get started
  • How to  transfer the designs
  • Project ideas

First of all, what I liked about this book was the layout.  You get the design and the actual pattern details side by side so no flicking back and forth.  She gives great details on her patterns and they are all true to size  and in colour.  At the back of the book, you have all the iron on patterns, ready to be pulled out.  These as you know by now are all iron on transfers, which can be used multi-able times and you can keep them all nice and tidy at the back of the book in the folder.

Here’s some pictures on a pattern I used from the book.  The second picture shows how clearly the iron on transfer took to the fabric.  This project is going towards a crafty Christmas project, more on that another time!

Book Review

Book ReviewAnd the final result.  Ta-dah! A lovely Autumn wreath now hanging in my kitchen.

Book Review 'Romantic Motifs' By Carina

I have to say her patterns are relatively easy to do and you can mix them up and use different stitches/colours when you get more confident. She applies the patterns to some lovely projects in the book.

All in all a good book and well worth buying.

Thanks to Search Press for supplying me with the book.  All  opinions expressed are my own.

Till next time!

Maura x