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.


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

Giveaway! Giveaway!

Giveaway now closed, thanks to all who entered. Winner is Studio.Silver.Lining

As I mentioned yesterday, to celebrate the opening of my Etsy Shop and to say thanks to all my followers on Instagram.  I am hosting a little giveaway.

Here’s what the lucky winner will get ….


  • 1 Crochet Book called “Easy Crochet Vintage & Retro” 30 projects to make for your home and to wear.  Nicki Trench consulted on this book.
  • 2 balls of Scheepjes Stone Washed XL Yarn in colour 847
    1 ball of Stylecraft DK in copper
    1ball of Sytlecraft DK denim
  • 1 CraftClubBox – Making Waves Sewing Kit
  • 1 surprise gift from my Etsy Shop


  • Like & Follow my Instagram Account, its here
  • Use the hashtag #TheMessyBrunetteEtsy  &  tell me for fun if you are a last minute Christmas shopper or one of those really organised people who does it during the Summer!
  • That’s all, you can repost if you wish but its not necessary.


  • I would really love it if you would give my shop a follow or favorite a few items, click on Etsy here.  I will include another surprise gift with this option.  Just use the hashtag and say you did this ( tell me your name on Etsy so I’II know )and leave a comment either here on the blog or over on Instagram.

The winner will be announced on Monday 31st October.  It’s open worldwide too.

Just the boring stuff now, this giveaway is not endorsed by Instagram.  Its just me sharing the love.

Till Monday – good luck!



Etsy Shop Launch!!

So I did it! Yes I finally got around to opening an online store.  I have done it with the help of Etsy. I take my hat off to all the people who do this.  It’s no easy feat, well to me anyhow. From the photographs, SEO, learning the ropes, the dos and dont’s.  It’s been an interesting learning experience to say the least.

So here’s my link and I hope you will stop by and support me, even a like or a favorite will put a smile on my face.

Here’s some pictures to give you a taste of what I have, I hope to add more as I go along.  I have a mixture of handmade jewellery from embroidered pieces to glass tile pendents with prints and fabric jewellery.  Then there’s some hoops for your walls.  I hope to add in some crochet along the way too.

Etsy Shop Launch : The Messy


Etsy Shop Launch : The Messy Brunette.comEtsy Shop Launch : The Messy Brunette.comI am going to be hosting a giveaway to celebrate so please stay tuned for my next post tomorrow.

Till next time !

Maura x



Vintage Rainbow Crochet Blanket

This post on my crochet rainbow blanket has proven to be very popular on my Instagram.

Vintage Crochet Rainbow BlanketI have been asked for details on it, so here they are ….

I found the pattern from this blog called Happy In Red.  She calls it  the Diamond Stitch Blanket as it looks like little diamonds.  It’s basically crocheting  groups of 2 trebles across your row, You can find the Diamond Stitch Pattern here which she kindly has given for free.  Its a great pattern for beginners and great to just sit down and crochet whilst watching telly as you don’t need to watch your stitches too much.

Vintage Rainbow Blanket

I did chose different colours as I wanted it to look more vintage.  I used good old stylecraft DK which is an acrylic yarn and comes in the most glorious colours.  These are the colours I used, I have listed them as I did them in the blanket.  The colour in between each row is parchment which sets off the other colours perfectly.  I chained 200 for my blanket and did 5 sets of rows using these colours.


I have yet to decide on the border, I have all the ends sewed in and no, I didn’t do this as I went along which was a pain!

Vintage Rainbow Blanket

I will post an update on the border when I have it done, another thing to add to my list !

Vintage Rainbow Blanket

Till next time !

Maura x





Chunky Ribbed Crochet Blanket

I have been a bit slow on the blogging front lately, it’s been a hectic time and then my laptop got sick, so had to try and  get it resurrected ! So I’m back with a post on crochet …..

I was asked to crochet up a chunky blanket and was given 6 balls of James C. Brett Marble Chunky.  They wanted a simple pattern and nothing fussy hhhmmmm.

Just in time for those colder months coming our way.

This was the result …

Chunky Ribbed Crocket Blanket - Pattern

If you want to give it a try here’s a little recap of what I did ….

Yarn; 6 x 200g balls of Marble Chunky ( MC14) its kinda a very rich red wine colour
Hook; 6mm

I chained 210 (UK Terms)
R1: HTR, turn and chain 2
R2: HTR in the back loop and continue this all the way across (this gives it the ribbed look)
R3 to end: repeat R2 until you are happy with the size.

Border: I did a row of double crochet, then a row of trebles and a final row of crab stitch ( which is double crochet worked backwards , this gives a lovely effect & I use it lots on borders)

Chunky Ribbed Crochet Blanket - Pattern

That’s it! very simple and just easy enough to do in front of the telly at night

Chunky Ribbed Crochet Blanket - Pattern


Till next time!

Maura x


Guest Post on ‘Live, It Love It, Make It’ Blog for making your own Embroidery Jewellery

I was asked by the lovely girls H & Sammy from the Live It, Love It, Make It blog if I wanted to take part in their September Maker Month. They do this feature twice a year.  Of course i was only too delighted to take part.

So my post was on making your own embroidery jewellery.  A simple but lovely way to use embroidery.  Please click here to read the post or click on the image below.

A big thank you the girls for asking me to be involved.

Till next time

Maura x

DIY embroidery brooch - tutorial and pictures

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

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

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


  • 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