Tag Archives: home decor

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.

The Wonderful Warmth of Winter

No more children sitting on their feet and no more cold bottoms because I finally made padded covers for the metal stools that surround the island in our kitchen. It seems noteworthy to tell you that we’ve nicknamed this seating area Inis Meáin, which translates tothe middle island’, and is the same name as our island neighbor here in the Aran Islands.

Most meals are eaten here in the kitchen. The dining room table is a hub for crafting, game playing, Lego and sorting clean laundry. As the chalkboard sign in the upper left corner so well documents, it was our 163rd monthiversary, ♥ 163 months married ♥, it was the 24th of November. Continue reading

Spring Willow Project

20160213_163557

Hanging on the front of our house, about four foot by four foot in size.

                                                                 

Have you ever entered an Irish home and wondered what the handmade cross hanging above the door represents?  Or perhaps you’ve seen a charm or pendant bearing the symbol that shares pride of place right aside shamrocks, harps, and claddagh rings.

                                                                    

St. Brigid’s Blessing20160211_160309

May Brigid bless the house wherein you dwell

Bless every fireside, every wall and floor;

Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof;

And every tongue and mind for evermore;

Bless every hand that toils to bring joy

And every foot that walks its portals through.

This is my wish today, my constant prayer

May Brigid bless the house that shelters you.

                                                  

I made a small cross for the inside of our house and using the above willow, I made a giant St. Brigid’s cross for the outside–my welcome to spring offering, traditionally placed near doorways to ward off evil, fire, and hunger from homes.

Here is a photo step-by-step tutorial of how I made the giant cross.  Scroll over any picture to read the details of each step or click on any picture to start a slideshow.

Below is a tutorial of how the cross is woven.  It’s the normal size and uses the rushes that are typically used.  My friend Bernie shared how to make them with me and a group of friends this past Feb 1st when we gathered to celebrate St. Brigid’s Eve together.
Continue reading

Our Jolly Holly Christmas Tree

20141208_105418 (5)

I believe we all know the feeling of when something is not quite right.  The feeling grows and grows until you decide assertively (sometimes in a matter of seconds) that “No, this just won’t do.”   Continue reading

How To Make A Reversible Book Cover with Pen Holder and Bookmark–Beginner Sewing Project 2

Reversible Book Cover Tutorial

 DSCF1538 (3)

It’s was time to think about Christmas gifts for my children’s school teachers and also about getting a move on making the next sewing tutorial.  Again, I completed both tasks in the one go.    Continue reading

Homemade Christmas Gifts for Nieces and Nephews

One thing I've learned from having five children is how much they all love pillows.

One thing I’ve learned from having five children is how much they all love pillows.

Continue reading

Mum, how many days until Santa comes?

Rows of numbered squares sewn as pockets to a background which is then batted, backed, bias tape bound, and somewhat quilted together and, voila, an advent calendar is materialised–pun intended, obviously. Continue reading

How to Make a Picture Pocket Pillow–Beginner Sewing Project 1


Picture Pocket Pillow Tutorial

DSCF0796

Here’s my first sewing tutorial.  Hope you enjoy!                                                                             Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: