My Meet The Maker Interview

Well its all happening over at the Messy Brunette Blog at the minute! I did a guest post on upcycling bedroom furniture using General Finishes Milk Paint and Java Gel over on Adventures and Tea Parties Blog, you can read about it here. Thanks Joanna!

Upcycled Bedside Lockers & Chest of Drawers using General Finishes Milk Paint & Java Gel Stain

And now an interview I did for Annie from Mrs Crafty B blog has been published.  She does a series called Meet the Maker and asked me to participate so you can have a read here.  She has a lovely feature on this and you can read about other makers.  This blanket was featured.

Vintage Rainbow Blanket

I am working on a few projects at the minute, just trying to find the time to get them done! I cannot wait for September as the kids will be back at school and we will be in some sort of a routine.  Anyone else like this ?

Here’s a peek at the project that will be coming soon ….

Brooch Making

Till next time

Maura x

 

Upcycled Lockers & Chest of Drawers using General Finishes Milk Paint & Java Gel

So hello, I was asked by the lovely Joanna from Adventures and Tea Parties Blog to guest post.  I decided to use this post on upcycling my bedside lockers and chest of drawers using General Finishes Milk Paint and Java Gel.  So please click here to read or click on the image below.

A big thank you to Joanna for letting me showcase this post on her blog.

Upcycled Bedside Lockers & Chest of Drawers using General Finishes Milk Paint & Java Gel Stain

Till next time

Maura x

Guinness Cake …. a recipe

Some man cake for you ! This was meant for Father’s Day but I keep forgetting to buy the Guinness! So finally I got around to making it and yes, it was worth the wait …… just in time for himself’s birthday actually.

Recipe for Guinness Cake

Ingredients:
250ml/9floz Guinness
250g/9oz unsalted butter
80g/3oz cocoa powder
400g/14oz caster sugar
2eggs
1tsp vanilla essence
140ml/5fl oz buttermilk
280g/10oz plain flour
2tsp bic of soda
1/2tsp baking powder

Topping:
50g/ 1 3/4oz unsalted butter
300g/ 10 1/2oz icing sugar
125g/4 1/2oz full fat cream cheese ( philadelphia)
Cocoa powder to dust

  • Preheat oven to 170 deg C and line your 9inch tin with some parchment paper.
  • In a pan, add the Guinness and the butter and gently heat until it has melted.
  • Remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder and sugar and give it a stir
  • In another bowl, mix the eggs, vanilla essence and buttermilk together, then add this mixture to the mixture in the pan.
  • Sift the flour, bic of soda and baking powder into a bowl.  Next add the wet ingredients from the pan and mix together in your mixer ( or use a hand held mixer) Mix all the ingredients well.
  • Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 45 minutes or until your skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave it to cool on a wire rack and prepare your topping

Topping:

  • Using your mixer, mix together the softened butter and the icing sugar until it is sandy looking. Then add the cream cheese and mix altogether on a low speed.  Do this until the mixture is light and fluffy looking.
  • Once the cake has cooled completely you can add this topping and sprinkle  some of the cocoa powder on top.

This cake I found was a bit heavy, so only a small slice for me, but it’s still delicious and went down well with himself.

Recipe for Guinness Cake

Till next time !Recipe for Guinness Cake

Maura x

CraftBlogClub Challenge – Upcycle Children Clothes for a Memory Keeper

I decided to take part in the CraftBlogClub Summer Challenge, which was to complete an upcycle challenge of your choice.  You can read more about the challenge here.  The host of this challenge was Jenniffer Taylor queen of the #sewingrevolution.  So I decided to use one of my sons little shirts, you know you always have a favourite little outfit they wore and don’t like to throw away ….. so I wanted to keep this and use it as wall art for his room.  It would be something I would have of his to keep.

So this was the shirt …. there are little anchors running through it and it was cotton so an ideal medium to embroidery something on it.  So I decided to keep with the nautical theme and used this design from Kelly Fletcher’s “Embroidered Home” Book

How to upcycle your childrens clothes to wall art to display

How to upcycle your childrens clothes to wall art to display

I traced it onto a sheet of Sulky sticky fabri solvy , peeled it off and stuck it right on the material.  This product is great & acts as a stabilizer as well.  You then rinse it off with some water when finished your stitching.

Here’s some progress shots ………

How to upcycle your childrens clothes to wall art to display

And the finished result……. all hooped up and ready to hang.

How to upcycle your childrens clothes to wall art to display

Have you used something of your childrens as a keepsake ? Any other ideas ? Id love to hear.

Till next time

Maura x

 

DIY Felt Flower/Heart Hoops for your Feature Wall

I have been busy making these little pieces for someone who wanted to decorate their daughters rooms.

Dress up with walls with these Felt flowers on hoops

These pieces all use felt.  Now, I had not really worked with felt in such a long time,  I had memories from school days with this really stiff stuff that was really unmanageable so I suppose that put me off.  But more than likely it was the acrylic stuff.  But it’s really the wool blend felt that you need to work on with projects.  So totally different to work with and I am really liking it to stitch with.  On one of my last  posts  here, I did a gift for a housewarming and one of the hoops was in felt.

So if you want to give these a try here’s a brief synopsis …..Hoops for a Feature Wall

  • Pick your materials, I used a floral fabric against plain coloured felt on a 5 inch hoop
  • I cut the shape out, in this case a heart with some scallop scissors, you can’t really see the edging but it’s there
  • I glued down the heart with fabric glue
  • Then I stitched on some flowers, in this case I used the woven wheel stitch and some french knots with some lazy daisies thrown in.
  • As suggested on Instagram, I finished it off with a running stitch, outlining the heart shape.
  • I then stained the hoop, added a ribbon and it’s ready to hang.

Here’s some more I did…..

Dress up with walls with these Felt flowers on hoops

This one is using the same principle as above, but  here I embroidered the outline in a whipped running stitch.  Then I sewed down the felt flowers, I prefer to sew them down rather than gluing.  I used some felt balls here too and stitched in a little flower button.  The felt balls are cut in two, makes them sit better.  I tidied up the edges with a felting needle.

On the next hoop, like the one above I used more felt flowers and leaves.  The leaves are made from some yummy glitter gold fabric.  I had this for ages in my stash and decided now’s the time to use it.  I like how they came up. I stitched on some lazy daisies to the felt balls.

Dress up with walls with these Felt flowers on hoops

I am still working on this one as I type, but thinking it’s more or less done.  The colour on this felt is just great, it doesn’t show up great on the screen but it looks great against the pink.  Silver glitter leaves are used on this one mixed in with green stitched ones.

Dress up with walls with these Felt flowers on hoops

Till next time !

Enjoy Maura x

Decoupage Plates – An Upcycle Project

Upcycled Plate Chargers using decoupage

I did a guest post on Fizzy Jayne Makes blog back in March for National Craft Month…. here’s the actual post on my blog in case you missed ……

I posted before on decoupage and using it on upcycling projects, you can read about it here. With this project, I had some plate chargers, you know the ones that make an appearance at Christmas.  Well, we had a bunch of these that we never used & I was going to dump, when I thought hmmmm maybe they could be used.  So I decided to try and cover them with some paper and make them seem like they old and vintage looking.

So here’s the plate before – just your regular silver plastic plate charger, nothing fancy with this one.  You can get this in the Euro shop, they are not expensive.

Upcycling - plate chargers to vintage plates

And here’s the after.  I did 4 plates with 4 different looks using napkins on some and scrapbook paper on others.  I wanted the plates to look old and worn, kinda vintage looking.  What do you think?

pcycled Plate Chargers - Tutorial using paper

pcycled Plate Chargers - Tutorial using paper

 

Upcycling - plate chargers to vintage plates

Upcycled Plate Chargers using Napkins & Scrapbook Paper

 

What to know how I did it? Well here’s a little quick recap.

Napkin Plates:

The aim was to make the plates look old & worn, vintage looking ……

  • I cleaned and lightly sanded the plate
  • I painted the plate in white. I did two coats to give it a good coverage.
  • I separated the napkins and only used the first layer – see below, it’s important you only use the first printed layer.  I tore  the pieces  I wanted to use and played around with the design. (On the green plate plate I didn’t tear it up I just carefully placed it on the plate and glued it bit by bit & blended it in.)

NapkinLayersNapkin pieces

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • I then used some decoupage glue ( you could use some watered down PVA or mod podge but I find this glue the best with napkins ) and glued the napkin pieces.  They wrinkled in places but I didn’t mind as I think the wrinkles make them look old.

Glue for Decoupage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • At the edges, I used some bitumen and rubbed it along with my finger.  You could use some dark wax but be careful, a little goes a long way.  I used some on the inner rim as well.
  • Next up I used some rice paper (rice paper is a little bit thicker than napkins and easier to use I find ) I had some with “home sweet home” printed on it. I tore around the print and glued this on top of the napkin and lightly sanded it to blend it in.  I used some bitumen on this as well to age it.
  • On the blue plate, I used some gold leaf around the edges
  • I sealed the plates with some clear varnish and lightly sanded them when they were was dry.  I repeated this process until I was happy with the result.  Be careful here as you don’t want the paper to tear. Just lightly sand it!

scrapbook PLATES:

  1. I cleaned and lightly sanded the plate
  2. I soaked the paper in water and peeled off the back, I did this as the paper was a bit too thick to use and it was easier to use if the paper was a bit thinner.
  3. Using some decoupage glue I glued the paper down to the plate and rubbed it into the plates rim and all around.  Now it did wrinkle a bit here and there, but as i wanted it to look a bit old and worn I didn’t mind this. Wrinkles can be good!
  4. Now the paper didn’t cover the plate fully, there was gaps on each side where the paper didn’t cover.  So I used some regular acrylic paint and blended the paint the colour of the paper.  I sanded and distressed this until I got the look I wanted.
  5. Next up, I used some gold leaf.  I just placed the glue on the parts I wanted the gold leaf to appear, this was in and around the edges of the plate. I wanted the plate to look old and that the paper was peeling and coming away.  I used some bitumen to make the paper look old in places as well.  You could use dark wax or even an old tea bag to stain the paper.
  6. I let it to dry and coated it again with the glue to seal it and I lightly sanded it afterwards, the paper part only.  I did this a couple of times to make sure everything blended in together.

Note: these plates are only for decorative purposes, just a wipe of a cloth will keep them clean.

So that’s it, hope you enjoyed the process, if I have left anything out or you need to know more please comment below.

So have you done any upcycling lately?

Till next time!

Enjoy Maura x

 

 

Blog Gem Feature on Adventures and Tea Parties Blog

Following on from my guest post over at The Craft Mummy Blog on gifting/diy an embroidery hoop, which you can read about here.

I was asked by the lovely Joanna of Adventures and Tea Parties blog,  if I was interested in being featured in her Blog Gem spot.   Well of course, no need to ask twice, I was only too happy to oblige.  So if you want to read more about me (there is even a picture of me, I may have washed my hair for this) and what tool I would bring to a desert island well just click here.

Thank you to Joanna for asking me to participate, I enjoyed answering your questions.  If you want to check Joanna’s blog out, please do here, she has a lovely creative lifestyle blog and great stuff in her online shops, just click!

These are my two claim to fame spots😉

Working on a little paid project at the minute, so that’s been keeping me busy, but here’s a little peek, maybe i’ll do tutorial or show case.

Felt flower project

Till next time!

Maura x

 

 

Hoop Up a Housewarming Gift

Hello! and how are we all on this wet July day ( well it is in my neck of the woods, hopefully the sun came out wherever you are today ) Just a quick post today letting you know I did a guest blog post over at theCraftyMummyBlog.com.  It’s a tutorial on Hoop Art.  I did this as a gift for a friend, if you want to read more please click here or on the image below.

Thanks so much to Kasia for letting me do this and please check out her blog, it’s full of crafty goodness.

Make your own gift with this little hoop

Till next time!

Maura x

Upcycled Cable Reel Table

I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of these old cable reels for free – yah go me! they have become so popular now for upcycling.  People are now charging extortive money for them!

I wanted one for my garden, as the table we had, had seen better days and was literally falling apart. So here is my before picture, I had just started sanding it.

Upcycle cable reel table

and here it is all finished and sitting nice and pretty in the garden, with some flowers that I wish I could say I grew in my garden but ahem no ….

cablereel4

I decided against painting it, I know! major shock for me too! I just gave it a good sand down with my trusty hand sander.  I left the wording on it and left it a bit rustic and rough looking.  I then gave it two good coats of wood decking oil, left it to soak in and thats it!

Here’s a few shots of the work in hand.

Upcycle cable reel table

A nice effective upcycle and there’s even a little hole to put your umbrella in, result !

Upcycle cable reel table

So have you used a cable reel in any project? I’d love to try a smaller one for a coffee table.

Till next time ….

M x

 

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Book Review ‘Mandalas to Crochet, 30 great patterns’ by Haafner Linssen

Book Review on Haafner Linssen 'Mandalas to Crochet'

I recently got my hands on this book ‘Mandalas to Crochet 30 great patterns’ by Haafner Linssen.  Published by Search Press.

Book Review

I love crocheting mandalas, there’s just something very soothing and relaxing about doing these.  Plus they are normally quick to make up, so you have a finished project in no time, which is a bonus as I always seem to have unfinished wips lying around! but then again doesn’t every crafter?!

Back to the book ….. The author starts off by giving you information on yarns and selecting colours. Also she gives tips on crocheting the perfect mandala and by using certain techniques how you can achieve a more finished polished look to your work.  If you are a beginner some of this information might go over your head for example, she uses standing stitches to begin rounds but you can still do them using the starting chain.  I found this section very informative as she gives you information on starting rounds, joining a round, reading charts and how to do invisible joins, which I have always been lazy about doing but hey it does look better!

She breaks the mandalas down into these sections …

Basic: which as the name suggests is a good place to start off if you are a beginner. The mandalas here are basic patterns just increasing and using different colours.  A good place to start.

Classic:  these patterns are a little more challenging but still doable, more advanced stitches are used like popcorns and front post trebles.  I crocheted the Lovely Lace Mandala & the Make it Pop Mandala from this section.

Book Review on Haafner Linssen 'Mandalas to Crochet'

Book Review on Haafner Linssen 'Mandalas to Crochet'

Flowers: these patterns had a flower like theme and all so beautiful.  I did the mandala “Oriental Lily” from this section and its my favourite from the book.

Book Review on Haafner Linssen 'Mandalas to Crochet'


Something Special:
the last section of the book, again more beautiful mandalas with great colour combinations.  All the mandalas in the book have a chart included too.

The next section deals with borders and how you can finish off your work with a pretty border.  She gives examples.

The final section is all about projects and how you can incorporate the mandalas into projects.  She lists the following:  boho bag, hotpad, tablemat, summer scarf, lap blanket, rug and finally leaves and lace blanket, which is stunning.

If you enjoy crocheting mandalas then this is the book for you, she gives 30 patterns which you crochet in no time and make them your own, simply by changing the colours or adding a different border.

If you want to find out more about the author Haafner Linsseen, she blogs here and you can find her on instagram which is where I came  across her lovely patterns.

Thank you to Search Press for giving me the book to review.  Please note, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

Book Review on Haafner Linssen 'Mandalas to Crochet'

Till next time !

Oh and if you want a read on an earlier post of mine, click on the image below.

Mandala Crochet Wall Art

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