Tag Archives: handmade

Pallet Picnic Table Repair

pallet picnic table

Our picnic table was given to us a few years back by some lovely people who handmade it themselves but couldn’t take it with them when they were moving away from the island. It’s been in dozens and dozens of our photos though never itself the subject of attention. Being extra long, makes it extra perfect for our large family, especially when friends and family are added to the mix. More often the tabletop is used as a platform for the children to sit upon and to spring from; this resulted in a board breaking and creating a hole. Just before Nuala’s birthday party last week Johnny refurbished the top using recycled pallet wood and then it was painted with some awesome paint from #Faherty Paints in Galway. It’s substantially heavier but that’s not a problem. I need to pick up more paint to finish the job next trip to the city, but even so, we’re really happy with the results and here you can see the transition for yourself.

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Hooray for having a handy hubby!! 🔨📐🖌

Curlicue, I Love You

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I’m not sure if my new snail is an early Mother’s Day gift or a just-because gift and it really doesn’t matter either way. I received this new piece of garden art from the heart and hands of Margaret Maeve last Friday. The opposite side is painted  ‘To: Mom ‘ and she made it in metal work class at school. How lucky am I?!

This is my ‘spiral‘ photograph for the weekly challenge hosted by Sandra and Cathy. Thanks for the inspiration ladies, and thank you for the one of a kind and made with love present Margaret Maeve. Xx

Make Do & Mend

Our couch cushions were feeling a bit deflated. A sad case really because our couch and matching love seat are otherwise in exceptionally fine fettle. Purchased when Margaret Maeve was first born, the set has withstood the better part of the last thirteen years under the same roof with five children and there’s not even a hint of rickety in their joints.

Johnny had the great idea to wedge several throw pillows in a single layer between the couch frame and the seat cushions, and it gave a perfect lift to the seats and a uniform look across the front. The wedged pillows go unnoticed because we tuck quilts over the couches.

With five throw pillows used to renew the two couches, they were quickly missed when we lounged around, so this week I made seven new ones. They photographed best outside in the natural light.

A great way to spruce up a room, the new pillows have definitely added a lift for very little dosh. I priced custom cushion replacements and a few hundred euro would make the couches new again. For 1/10 the cost, I already owned the fabric and pillow inserts. While this might be more of an inexpensive alternative than an actual make do and mend job, it’s making due for less, no less.

Listening To Your Art–Gifting Creativity

Here on the island we have a community center, branded as ‘the hall’, that hosts the teen youth club, various sports practices, Irish dancing lessons, parties/celebrations, fund raisers, veterinary clinics, dramas, orchestras, movie viewings, ceili dances, public meetings, wedding receptions, and probably a few more things I haven’t thought of.  It’s definitely the islands all-purpose space.

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A view of the ocean from the island community center.

For the second year in a row, my daughter Margaret Maeve and her friend Tanya rented a table at the island’s annual Christmas Fair held at the hall.  There are about 12 to 14 tables offering a variety of gift items for sale and holding raffles for a huge range of things.  For the few weeks before, the girls busily create everything they sell.   Continue reading

Wreathed in Love & Wrapped with Care

Wreaths are stand-alone decorations that are quite versatile.  They can be large or small, indoors or outside, ornate or modestly adorned, hung vertically or placed flat on a table top, and definitely not exclusive to holiday time.

They need not even be a circle– heart, oval, square, or diamond all work beautifully to create a unique visual display that looks custom made for a space.

This year I decided to make wreaths for our children’s bus driver and teachers to show appreciation for the care they provide throughout the school year.

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How To Make A Lined Zipper Pouch–Beginner Sewing Project 4

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A side view shows the base that helps it to sit upright and a view of the inside gives a peak at the coordinating lining.

Welcome to lesson four of my five beginner sewing project tutorials.  This project repeats most of the skills acquired in the first three lessons and introduces inserting a zipper and a lining.  Neither are too difficult, and both are invaluable basic skills that open up many future project possibilities.  This project looks time intensive, but like the others before, it’s easily taught within the four-hour class time, allowing for warm-up exercises and a twenty-minute break.  I should add here that I have the fabrics pre-cut for students and they choose the combination of elements–zip, ribbon, lining and main fabric. I’ve put in lots more pictures because they can sometimes speak clearer to you than the written instructions.  Don’t ever hesitate to ask me for help with anything. Continue reading

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