Crochet Book Review & Giveaway ! – Design Your Own Crochet Projects by Sara Delaney

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED !
Winner : Sarah, please contact me with your details

Storey Publishing gave me this book ‘Design Your Own Crochet Projects’ by Sara Delaney around Christmas time and it is only now I have taken the time to sit down and have a read properly.  So grab a coffee yourself and have a little looksie at Sara’s latest book.

This book as mentioned is written by Sara Delaney, some of you might know her from Craftsy and author of ‘How to Crochet’.  If  you want to try and start designing your own crochet makes, then this book will help you get started.

Book Review & Giveaway - Design your own Crochet Projects by Sara Delaney

The book has fill-in-the-blank templates and a stitch dictionary, here’s a little sneak peek of one of the pages …..

Book Review & Giveaway - Design your own Crochet Projects by Sara Delaney

Sara has broken it down into designing for scarves, cowls, hats, fingerless mittens, mittens, gloves and socks.  So lots to get you started.  There is a stitch dictionary and a metric conversion chart all included.  Did I mention the book is spiral bound?  Which is great, as it lays flat for you. She has included some of her original patterns along with the formulas she used to create them.  I particularly like the scarf and hat patterns.  The hitchcock scarf is one that I have ear marked for the winter months, I can but hope we will get a summer, as I type this !

If you would like to win a copy of the book, just follow the blog and let me know in the comments section, what was the first crochet item you every designed and made.  I will pick a winner next week and publish on the blog.  Its open internationally too !

Till next time !

Maura

Please note, Storey Publishing supplied me with the book, all opinions/comments are my own.

 

Book Review & Giveaway - Design your own Crochet Projects by Sara Delaney

 

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DMC Magic Paper Kits – Have you tried it yet ?

Hello hello ! Its been a while but hey, busy busy and all that jazz!  If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this on my stories.  I just wanted to put it on the blog as well, as I got a lot of questions on it.  So read on !

When DMC contacted me to ask, if I would test out one of their new products ‘Magic Paper Kits’  of course I said yes !

You may have seen some of these kits floating around on social media, as various stitchers have been trying them out.  I did a live Instagram stores (my first eekk!) with the lovely Tash from HatchlingMakes trying it out and generally chatting all things stitchy with her.  Side note! please do pop over and have a look at Tash’s lovely makes, if you are a big fan of animals and geometric designs, then you will love Tash’s work.

To re-cap, this is what you will get in the kit.  I picked the floral pattern, but there are plenty of other patterns to choose from and there are cross stitch versions also.

Testing out the new DMC Magic Paper KitsThe little kit contains the pattern itself, which is printed on the magic paper, some embroidery threads and a needle, everything to get you started ! There’s a few instructions on the back but you can use whatever stitches you want.  You can find the different kits here.

Testing out the new DMC Magic Paper Kits

To begin, you just cut the pattern part you want to use, and peel off the backing paper, then stick  it on your piece of fabric.  In my case, I used my denim shirt.  I have been dying to try some stitching on an item of clothing and this was my chance.

Here’s a picture of the shirt all hooped up and ready to go.  You can see the pattern design on the paper.  Its sticks to the fabric and you just stitch through the fabric and paper.  I used a hoop on the denim, as it was a soft denim, but depending on the item of clothing you are using, you may not need a hoop.

Testing out the new DMC Magic Paper Kits

I used back stitch, stem stitch and satin stitch to fill in the flowers.  Here’s a few pictures to see the progress.

 

Once finished you just rinse off the paper in warm water.  Yes, the paper is water soluble and it will rinse away.  I left it in the sink for a few minutes and swirled the water around. You can see it dissolving in the next picture.

Testing out the new DMC Magic Paper Kits

Next I gave it a good rinse, to make sure all the paper was gone and then let it dry.  In my case, I left it until the next day, I then ironed the shirt, protecting my stitches and hey presto !

Testing out the new DMC Magic Paper Kits

I haven’t seen these in the shops over here just yet, but you can find them online.  I know CloudCraft are supplying them at the minute and of course try DMC

For a quick fun project, and if you want to try out some embroidery on your clothes, as it’s all over the shops at the minute, these packs are a good start.  I shall try and update with a picture of the shirt actually on me but I cant quite manage a shot on my own.

Till next time !

Maura

Please note, although DMC supplied me with this kit, all comments/opinions are my own.

Testing out the new DMC Magic Paper Kits

How I upcycled my chest box using stain

Another chest box that I upcycled, this time using stain.  Seriously beginning to wonder where the heck all these boxes are coming from.  If you want to read up on my other chest box revamp, have a peek here and here.  This one is for all the timber, himself has been chopping away for the winter months.

Here’s the before picture, don’t ask what I was thinking, but I went through a phase of painting everything in red at once stage!  I used my sander to get most of it off but I had to use some paint stripper to get more of the stubborn paint off.

How I upcycled an old chest box using stain How I upcycled an old chest box using stain

 

And  here it is after I sanded it down to the butt, nice eh?  I kept with a geometric design but decided this time to use stain instead of paint, to fill in the blank bits.  Using frog tape, I marked out the design.

How I upcycled an old chest box using stainHow I upcycled an old chest box using stain

 

Using the stain, I lightly applied it in some parts and in other parts I applied it heavy, just to see what kind of effect would come up.  I  used a cloth to apply the stain and wore gloves.  The stain I used was just some I had in my garage, nothing special but I do like the colour it gives.  It was called Indian rose wood.  The other stains I had were too light, I thought.

 

 

 

Here it is during the process, I had just applied the stain and was buffing it into the wood.

How I upcycled an old chest box using stain

 

 

How I upcycled an old chest box using stainHow I upcycled an old chest box using stainHere is it is all finished.  What do you think?  Oh and I did seal it with some clear varnish to protect it.  All in all, it didn’t take too long to do, the sanding was the hard bit, but I actually like sanding.  You can see the grain of the wood coming through the naked wood, I think it gives a nice effect. You can see below, the front and and back, of the finished piece.

How I upcycled an old chest box using stainHow I upcycled an old chest box using stain

 

Till next time !

Maura

 

How I upcycled an old chest box using stain

Giveaway! Giveaway!

******Giveaway Closed*****

Winners are as follows:
Prize no. 1: @completelyhooked
Prize no. 2: @aideenfallen
Prize no. 3: @looksomethingshiny
Prize no. 4: @homestitches

Thanks to all who entered!!!!!!

Righto, I promised this ages ago and seeing as I reached a particular milestone on Instagram, here goes……………

I decided to do a couple of prizes, one for the crochet/yarn loving people and another for the stitchy people.

First up, you will win as pictured, one massive 400g ball of aran weight yarn in a lovely grey fleck.  I used this in the past when making up a lovely scarf/hat combo.  And I will throw in another ball of Stylecraft Ombre Yarn in .  This is prize 1.

And if you are struggling to try borders on any of those blankets, this book will surely help out.  Its called Everyway Which, Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman, I did a review on the blog a while ago, you can find it hereThis is prize 2

 

Next , this one is for the stitchers among you.   You will get 2 embroidery books.  One from the team behind Mollie Makes and the other is Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray.  Both suitable for beginners and experienced stitchers alike.  This is prize 3.

I have also, some lovely Kona cotton fabric and some linen blend fabric.  I use these types a lot to stitch on, there’s also some aida fabric for the cross stitchers among you.   And finally, these gorgeous embroidery threads from Aurifil.  They are a little bit different from the DMC/Anchor brand.  More of a matt finish, but they are lovely to work with and come on these cute little wooden reels.  This is prize 4.

To win these, you can either do it here or over on my Instagram.

To enter, just like and follow me here on the blog and/or  instagram and tell me in the comments section, how many wips have you on the go?  This follows on from my Instagram stories where I was very impressed with how many wips people have got going on and now I don’t  feel so bad about my mountain of wips in the corner!

I will keep an eye over here and I will be on instagram to check things out too.  You can find my Instagram account here.

I will let things run for a week or so and check in then and announce the four winners.

Please note, this giveaway is open worldwide and is not endorsed/sponsored by Instagram or anybody etc etc just me sharing some crafty stuff

Till next time !

Maura

 

 

Ikea Mini Storage Make Over

Playroom revamp - decor and those last minute touches that wont cost a fortune

 

 

Happy New Year to you all!  Its been a while since I posted.  Lots of things happened, mainly just so busy in December, it really caught me and I ended up chasing my tail as they say.  Then of course the household got sick and that ended all thoughts of sitting down and getting crafty.  But now the kids are back in school and I am beginning to feel normal!

I found this post and decided now’s the time to post.  A little Ikea make over …………

Love these little Ikea storage units.  I found this one while I was on the lookout for some storage for the kids playroom.  ( You can read my playroom revamp here )

I thought, it would be a good mini painting project for the kids to get stuck into.  A little Ikea upcycle project for the kids, if you will.

Here’s the unit before, still in the plastic.

Ikea mini make over

I decided to try a geometric design and leave some of the wood unpainted.  I used some frog tape to divide off the sections.  Frog tape is great as the paint won’t bled through, unlike ordinary masking tape. Then I just some some paints I had on hand, a mixture of acrylic and chalk paint.  I didn’t bother with priming it. After you have painted the sections, slowly peel off the frog tape and you should have nice clean crisp lines.

Ikea mini make overIkea mini make overIkea mini make over

Here’s the final result, nice and bright I think!

Ikea mini make over

Playroom revamp - decor and those last minute touches that wont cost a fortuneIts now taking pride of place on the kids desk, with their mother eyeing it up for her bits and pieces 😉

Till next time !

Maura

Ikea mini make over

 

 

Support Handmade Small Businesses this Christmas

This year, I decided to take the plunge and apply for a Christmas design and craft pop up shop located in Bantry, Co. Cork.  This was really on a whim and I didn’t  really think it through, to be honest and after a few pushes from himself, I emailed my application form off.

To say I was delighted, would be an understatement, when I got accepted, but then the panic set in and off I went painting, gluing and stitching like a mad woman!

The shop is branded under Forest and Flock and has lots of Irish artists and Irish made products.  Its doors are opening November 25th for a period of 4 weeks.  Maeve and her team are showing progress on Facebook and Instagram, so please have a look and support myself and the other makers.

Here’s a few things that I will be showcasing.

And finally Aisling from Moo Market in Dublin, will be selling some of my pieces in her lovely shop located in Stoneybatter, Dublin.   Aisling is a big lover of handmade and regularly supports and sells other Irish crafted goods, in her shop.  I’m honoured to be included amongst these makers. Thanks once again to Aisling.  If you want to follow Aisling, she regularly posts on Instagram and on Facebook.

Here’s a few peeks to what I supplied.

So Christmas is nearly upon us and people are shopping for friends and family, I hope you will support hand crafted goods and the makers.  The love and passion these people have for their work is second to none and every purchase you make with them, really does make their day.

Not just in Ireland but I know makers from all over the world , and you can find them on Etsy, Folksy, Not on the High Street and I’m sure in your own local town, so give this a thought when you are buying that special gift.

My Etsy shop is here

Till next time !

Maura

Jewellery Box make over with Folk It techniques

My 10 year old niece asked me to spruce up her jewellery box recently.  I happily obliged.  She is a big fan of what I do and loves a visit to my craft room.

Here’s the before pictures, it was just a plain black box.

Using Folk It kits to make over a jewellery box

Using Folk It kits to make over a jewellery box

Using Folk It kits to make over a jewellery boxShe gave me free reign and off I went.   I decided to try out some folk art, using a kit I got ages ago from Folk It.  I did a Valentines post using one of their kits before, you can catch up here and I used it in this post when I was upcycling some Kilner jars.

First, I gave it a coat of Bin Zinsser,  to help adhere the paint.  Then I used some chalk paint I had on hand.  This one was  a tester pot of Rust-Oleum, in Winter Grey. I gave it two coats and lightly sanded between.  Then I got my folk it kit out and did a few practise runs just to refresh my memory. I love the dotty design they use, and it’s a really simple one to try out, especially for beginners. I just used a combination of colours I had on hand, no special paints required. I gave it a coat of varnish to seal at the end.

Using Folk It kits to make over a jewellery box

Here’s the finished result.

Using Folk It kits to make over a jewellery box

Using Folk It kits to make over a jewellery box

 

For more of these fabulous kits, please hop over to Folk It.  The girls are great to help and you can find them on social media where they regularly post updates and peeks of their work and kits.

Till next time !

Maura

Using Folk It kits to make over a jewellery box

Halloween Embroidery Hoop – Free Pattern

Free Halloween Embroidery PatternIts coming to that time of year again.  Yes Halloween is just upon us, although the shops have been throwing it in our faces since September!

This is a quick hoop I did, for a friend, who’s mad about Halloween.  I decided to share it here, if you want to have a go.  It’s pretty simple,  I used back stitch for the lettering and just cut out the shape of the ghost using some scrap white felt and whip stitched it onto the fabric.

Free Halloween Embroidery Pattern

Free Halloween Embroidery Pattern

 

 

Here’s the template, its sized to fit a 6inch hoopFree Halloween Embroidery Pattern

 

 

 

Have a spooky Halloween, till next time !

Maura

 

Free Halloween Embroidery Pattern

An end of summer crafty catch up

I have been meaning to catch up on my blog but it’s just been one thing after another.  So I thought, I would actually sit down and see what I have actually done this past while.

Summer time, brought the holidays and of course the kids were at home, but I did manage to do a few projects, that is to say in between ferrying them here and here and constantly having to feed them and stop them fighting.  Of course visitors just seem to call, whilst you are in the middle of painting too, don’t they!

My last few posts were on the big revamp of the kids playroom, really happy with how that went.  I broke it down into five parts.  Just click on the pictures below if you fancy a read.

Upcycling an old bookcase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playroom revamp - part 2: up-cycling an old cot into a hanging rack, using some paint, paper and some hooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playroom revamp part 3 - upcycling an old chest box with a geometric design

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using patterned paint rollers on your walls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playroom revamp - decor and those last minute touches that wont cost a fortune

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really pleased that Colourtrend shared my post on the bookcase on facebook, yay!

Speaking of facebook, I finally sat down one day & published The Messy Brunette there.  Not sure what to really expect from it as it’s not my favourite social media.  If you are a regular user, please come and say hi.  Speaking of social media, I am still active on Instagram and Twitter, so if you prefer these, do pop over.

We went on holidays to Wexford back in July.  I have only been there once, years ago, at a Tommy Tiernan gig but have to say, we really enjoyed our stay.  We stayed at the Talbot Hotel, which I would highly recommend.  Here’s a few pictures, we actually had great weather as well.

 

Quietly working away on my Etsy shop,  things were slow during the summer period but it gave me time to tidy up a few things and streamline the products, I offer.  Selling handmade is hard work and an eye opener, learning lots from my first year of selling.  I managed to design and list some pretty laser cut jewellery.  I would love to try more but for now, sticking with these pieces.

As for the embroidery, I am still working away, I just really love it! Trying out some of my own lettering and drawings, thanks to Peggy Deans books.  Have you discovered these yet? They are great for people learning to draw or just to brush up on your skills.  You can have a look at her website,thepigeonletters.com for inspiration.

I have found some of the Irish themed hoops sell well abroad and I have gotten some rude requests, which I love! Here’s a few hoops I have been working on.

I have neglected my crochet a bit lately, but i am working on a shawl/scarf, using Scheejes whirl, have your tried this yarn yet? I still have the spice of life cal blanket on to go too! I really should get a move on with it though.  I  have been trying out a few pieces of jewellery combing some crochet but I’m afraid I can’t show these just yet. So here’s a picture on the shawl.

 

 

Lately I attended a workshop with Joanne of Kyle Lane, it was a follow up on her furniture techniques one.  As usual, it was a great day and I came away with a little locker.  You can find Joanne’s website here.

Now that the kids are back to school, I have been messing around with some Christmas designs, I know, I know the C word!!  I wont say much on them, but you will see in time.  Also been toying around with the idea of a newsletter, its on my list ! Is it something you have? Any tips?

That’s about it for now, till next time !

Maura

 

Playroom Revamp Part 5 : Decor & Bits

Part 1 – Upcycled Bookcase.
Part 2 – Upcycled Cot/Hanging Rack.  
Part 3 – Upcycled Chest Box.

Part 4 – Using Patterned Paint Rollers.

Have you caught up or are you fed up?! This is my last post on this project. Just the last few finishing touches really.

Out went this table and chairs. The table top was decoupaged with some paper, but one of the kids had ripped it off.  The chairs were big and clumsy, so they went.  In there place, we sourced this table and bench, in Ikea.  It’s long and has loads of room and doesn’t take up too much space.  The bench is ideal for when little buddies come over, as there is loads of room.

Playroom revamp - decor and those last minute touches that wont cost a fortune

Playroom revamp - decor and those last minute touches that wont cost a fortuneI wanted this space to be a crafty space for the kids ( and me if I’m honest !) so we put up some shelving and labelled it, so at least I know whats stored or hidden away from small hands.  I got some little white buckets, in IKEA again, cheap as chips, stuck on some washi tape, where they now are storing their colouring pencils/pens etc.  I got some coloured frames and used them to hang their drawings and pictures.  I had the magnetic board and cork board, again these were from IKEA.  I used this space as their craft area and its perfect.

Playroom revamp - decor and those last minute touches that wont cost a fortune

Playroom revamp - decor and those last minute touches that wont cost a fortune

Playroom revamp - decor and those last minute touches that wont cost a fortunePlayroom revamp - decor and those last minute touches that wont cost a fortune

Another purchase form IKEA was this little book case, perfect for their books and I can put it under the table out of the way. I used some spice rack holders for colouring book holders and decorated with some washi tape again.  I decorated the little cubby box thingy with a geometic design and it now sits on top of the table, perfect for little cars and trashies.

Playroom revamp - decor and those last minute touches that wont cost a fortune

Playroom revamp - decor and those last minute touches that wont cost a fortuneTo give the table the faux marble look, I had some sticky paper stuff from sostrenegrene  You just literally peel off the backing and stick to the table.  It just takes the white bland look off the table and you don’t see the marks as easily ! Its washable too.

Playroom revamp - decor and those last minute touches that wont cost a fortune

Some pictures were hung at last and the chair got a new throw.

All in all, very pleased with the result and so far the kids are liking it and minding it but we will see how long that lasts!

Playroom revamp - decor and those last minute touches that wont cost a fortune

Till next time !

Maura

PS this is not a sponsored IKEA post, I can only dream ha !

To see my other follow up  posts on this revamp, have a look here – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Playroom revamp - decor and those last minute touches that wont cost a fortune