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, 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 !




Playroom Revamp Part 3 – Upcycle Chest Box

Just click on part one and part two to catch up.

You are probably wondering, how many things, in my house, do I have to upcycle at this stage! Yes, I am beginning to wonder that myself ha!

This will be a quick post I promise.  I really liked doing this one as it was such a nice day outside, perfect for sanding.  I do like using a sander !

Here’s a before shot.  This box was just one of those old pine boxes they used to giveaway with coupons in the Centra/  SuperValu stores years ago.  It was painted a few times and I used some stencils on it the last time.  It was dirty and the lid had come off, so out with sander and off I went.

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

Here’s what it looked like after I sanded and cleaned it off. The grain came up pretty well I thought.  It was a bit battered and had some knocks but that only adds character .. right ?!

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

Right now I am liking this look, so I decided to not paint it, what you say! yep …… but of course I couldn’t leave it just naked now could I?!   So I painted on some geometric little designs with paint I had on hand. These were just pencilled on, I then used frog tape to mark off the areas I wanted to paint.  You just peel off the tape, after you have painted. You should then get sharp lines.  This stuff is brilliant and I came across it when doing one of Kyle Lane’s workshops.

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

I painted a bigger shape at the sides and left the back alone as it was going to be up against a wall. Two coats of clear matt varnish to seal it and its done.

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

Here it is all finished.  I left the lid off as this had caused many a wail, as little fingers got stuck…ouch!

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


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


To see my other follow up  posts on this revamp, have a look here – Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, Part 5

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




Playroom Revamp Part 2 : Upcycled Cot into a Hanging Rack

If you want to read Part 1 on my painted bookcase, just click here.

Ok, still with me on this project ?  Good here we go …

Next up, I wanted something to hang stuff from, you know all the kid crap that likes to lie on the floor and has no place.  Because our back door is beside the playroom, they tend to traipse in through the house and look for hats, scarves, wellies, hurleys, helmets etc etc  Of course these things are never where they should be! So I remembered, I still had our old baby cot in the garage.  Now I did use the headboard for a project back ages ago, you can read about it here.

So I decided to use the other part of the cot for this project. Here’s a picture of the cot before I did anything.  I was just cleaning and prepping it here, funnily enough on another cot – don’t ask!

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


When I started, I was going to try a geometric pattern on it, see here …..

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

but I didn’t like the colours against the blue so I scrapped that.  I really wanted to use up the paint and materials I had, the last thing I wanted to do was buy more stuff!

Then I decided to use some paper. I was undecided on what paper to use.  I used Instagram stories, where I showed a few different papers and people there seemed to prefer this paper.  Its called Brighton Pier.  It was a roll I had for ages, yes just one roll!

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


Lastly,  I just screwed in some hooks, that I had from Ikea.  Then I  got himself to actually screw the cot itself, into the wall and now all the crap is hanging on this and not on the floor. Result!

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


Here it is all finished …Playroom revamp - part 2: up-cycling an old cot into a hanging rack, using some paint, paper and some hooks


Please note: I did wash and clean down the cot before I started. I used Bin to prime it for the paint.  The paint I used was a test pot of Valspar.   This apparently has a primer built in.  I used some Mod Podge to glue and seal the paper.

No children were harmed during this project 😉

Till next time !


To see my other follow up posts on this revamp, have a look here – Part 1, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

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



Playroom Revamp Part 1 : Upcycled Bookcase

I recently did a major revamp of our kids playroom.  It had gotten old and tired looking and there was crap everywhere.  My hands were itching to do something and so, when the good weather hit, I got started.

I showed a lot of my progress on Instagram stories and I got good feedback.  I am going to break my process down in the next few posts, as it would probably take too long, in just one post!

It started with this book cabinet. I originally painted it years ago for the kids with yellow chalk paint.  It was one of those dark mahogany coloured cabinets that everyone’s mother seemed to have back in the day.  It was never prepped or primed and to be honest it showed and with the kids using it, it didn’t last the pace.  So I decided to give it a major over haul.  My before picture is not great, of course I forgot to take a decent one before I started, but you get the gist.

Playroom revamp - part 1: up-cycling an old bookcase with some paint.


Firstly I had to get off the wax, so I used good old methylated spirits.  This stuff is good, but be warned, open your windows and doors, it will give you a headache!  I then sanded it back a bit to give the new paint some key to work with.  I then applied undercoat.  I decided to use Colourtrend satin wood in shades of Beade and Blue Roan, basically two different blues. And here it is ….

Playroom revamp - part 1: up-cycling an old bookcase with some paint.

Really happy with how it turned out.  It took a lot of elbow grease, as they say.  Getting the wax off was a pain, as I was practically high from the fumes, but this stuff works.  (I have since discovered my local hardware shop supplies Krud Kutter and will try this the next time)  It took 2 coats of paint to get  good coverage.  I really like how the blues turned out.  What you think ?

Till next time !


PS, if you wan to read more about my playroom revamp, have a look at these posts – Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Upcycling an old bookcase


Yes, I am still here! a crafty catch up …. another one!

I have been slow on the blogging front lately…… so many wips but so little time! The usual story I suppose with us crafters.  Since I opened my Etsy shop, I have been busy there too, trying to keep it up to date and all those listings and tags aahhh!

So this post really is just to pop in and say hello, yes I am still here 🙂 a little catch up if you will.  So here’s a few pictures of work I have been doing lately ….

I was asked by Toni from TL Yarn Crafts to test a pattern for her, she has lovely patterns and her Mega Pom beanie hat pattern is one of my favorites.  Here’s a link to her Etsy shop. This is  a crochet scarf pattern using the moss stitch.  Here’s my take on her pattern.  She is hoping to release this soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Moss Stitch Crochet Scarf
I did a few custom embroidery hoops, I really had to lock myself away and concentrate on these but I was pretty pleased with the outcome.  I even managed to feed the kids in between!

Custom Name Embroidery Hoop Art


I won some lovely goodies from another blogger buddy, Emma from Emma’s Crafty Projects.  These arrived this week, all the way from Australia.  The yarn is gorgeous, I have never used something like this before, so saving it for a special project.  my crafty win

The kids fought over the little plushie (that’s why its not in the picture, I wasn’t allowed !) they are now requesting more to be made.  Hmm I will admit, amigurumi I find is fiddly and takes me forever!  She also gave me some embroidery threads and a lovely cross stitch book marker.  So thank you once again Emma!

my crafty win


The Easter holidays are here, I was trying to do some Easter crafts but its not happening.  My computer is being upgraded hopefully next week, so I hope to get more organised with everything.  Normally I am good with organizing stuff but lately I have been all over the place!  I have also been wondering about upgrading the blog, taking the plunge and going self hosting, therefore have more control over the layout.  I am in the middle of working out a new logo/branding, so bare with me.

I did a big tidy up on my boards over on Pinterest, you can find me here and please leave your pinterest name in the comments section below and I will follow back, I need to find more people to follow.  Speaking of social media, anyone on Twitter or Facebook even ? I confess I am not a fan of Facebook but I have been wondering lately if I should start a page over there. What do you think ?

And finally, I am working on an up cycling project, I just need the weather to behave so I can take a decent picture! so hopefully my next post will be that.

Till next time!



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.


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 …


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.


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 !


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.


  • 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 !


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

Happy shopping, till next time!


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

A sexy Hairpin Leg Bench Workshop

At this stage you know I love love love workshops in Kyle Lane, you can read my other post on their upcycling workshops here

Hairpin Leg Bench Workshop

Well Joanne has a new one out now, called simply The Hairpin Leg Bench Workshop This was definitely my cup of tea. I signed up straight away !

As usual, Joanne supplied all the parts and this workshop was broken down into little segments like …. how to paint your hairpin legs, information on the foam that was used, some techniques on upholstery and applying upholstery buttons to your piece, if you wanted and finally attaching those legs!

All Joanne’s workshops have a theme and she dresses up the shop for it.  We got treated to a movie night theme, so there was popcorn of all types, some Coke Cola, way too many nachos which I happily muched on all day! sweets of all sorts, crackers and cheese, teas and coffee.  If you are dieting then you need strong will power because I couldn’t stay away from the treat table!

Here’s some pictures on the day …………

Hairpin Leg Bench Workshop


Hairpin Leg Bench WorkshopHairpin Leg Bench WorkshopBench10Hairpin Leg Bench WorkshopThis bench is 37inches wide and 13inches deep, perfect for the end of a bed or a hallway.  Mine is sitting in my hall.

Hairpin Leg Bench Workshop

Hairpin Leg Bench WorkshopI have to say this one was my favourite of all the workshops.  You can have a peek at her workshops here.

Till next time .. !


# I link up here

Make your own Lampshade!

One of my favourite  upcycling shops, Kyle Lane does these little workshops on how to make your own lampshades. I was lucky enough to spot she had a special offer on them  & was able to attend.

Here’s a picture of the kit you get, its for a 30cm drum.   You get the rings, some sticky backed paper & double sided tape, a little comb thingmebob & your instructions.  Joanne also supplies the fabric for these workshops so you don’t need to bring anything.

lampshade kit

Then onto the making…. following Joanne’s instructions and in a nutshell, we peeled, stuck down and smoothed out the fabric, tucked in bits and poked around and then finally done!  Little bit tricky in places but overall very easy to do.

Here’s mine, I just love this fabric, kinda retro & in lovely shades of grey with pops of colour.

Lampshade DIY

It’s now hanging in my craft room. Result!

lampshade diy - finished result

I got another kit from Joanne & did this one myself at home  with some Cath Kidston fabric I had in my stash.

Make your own lampshade with a kit

Click here, if you want to find out more on Kyle Lane’s lampshade workshop.

If you are more of a buyer, then you can buy a finished lampshade there too.  Or if you want to try the kit & have a go yourself Joanne supplies the kits too,just have your own fabric to hand.

Great project to try & even better you can personalise it to your room.

Till next time ..!

Oh and if you want to read more on Kyle Lane’s workshops, see my posts here on her furniture techniques and chair workshop and here for the HairPin Bench Workshop

Make your own lampshade with a kit