9 August 2014

Mid summer decorating

While most people are off on their jolly hollies I've been turning the cottage upside down and inside out.  It seems to have become a yearly thing.  As soon as the summer camps are over I'm in "let's get ready for Christmas" mode and know that once August is over that's it it's busy season for me!!  So I always do my big jobs in August and this year it's re-decorating the bathroom and kitchen.  The thought of it has been awful for the last few weeks but I started at the weekend, and with the help of my mum, launched into it with gusto.  
The bathroom was first, you can see the last update here when I added the wallpaper.  Don't get me wrong I LOVE that paper but, despite everyone's warnings about this happening I ignored them and damp and mould set in (see top picture, top right hand side) and it had to come down so I could treat the walls properly.  

Even before it was down I planned to just buy the same paper again but once it was all removed I decided I'd go back to basics and live with it plain for a while.  

I painted it all white, this time I went totally crazy and opted for something other than Brilliant White.  I used Sail White by Crown Paints.  Wooo ... living on the edge !!

I painted the skirting, window ledge and bath panel a light grey with paint I already had. 

I'm currently on the accessories.  I had this basket set that I liked for shape and size but not the colour so I thought I'd try painting it.  Just needs another coat but it's looking good. 

I added a simple lace voile to the window as I'm lucky not to be overlooked so I can get away with that.

I'll be back later in the week to show you progress as I got side tracked ....  In typical Michelle fashion I started another job before I finished one !!

I'll show you the finished pictures hopefully by Monday :O) 

Have a great weekend peeps xx

22 June 2014

Irish Summer

Summer has finally landed here in Ireland and I'm enjoying every second of it.

Between picnics in the garden, trips to the beach (Galway, Salthill)

and country lane bike rides

I'm lapping up every ounce of sunshine and maxing my doses of vitamin D

The only downside is that my crafts are being a little neglected.  

Oh well, one has to make hay while the sun shines!!

Hope you're all having a lovely summer x

If you want to keep up with me more frequently you can find me on facebook or instagram  :O) 

16 June 2014

Children's Summer Camps

It's all busy busy at the cottage as I'm getting ready for Summer Camps. 

Furniture is being moved, tidying is frantic, projects are being planned, fabric and sewing notions sorted.  

This year I'm doing two different camps.  The mornings are Sewing only and are for 8 years upwards and the afternoons are going to be Craft, suitable for boys and girls 6 years upwards.

Life begins at 40

I am partied out!

I celebrated my 40th last week in sunny Portugal with four fabulous friends. 

We had the most fabulous few days in sunny Ericeira and I didn't want to come home!

We had a gem of an apartment with the most amazing roof terrace where we started and ended each day.

This was our view

 Like all good things it had to come to an end. 

I have to say it's true  ... life begins at 40. 
I've been having the best time ever and feel the happiest I've ever felt. 

Cheers to my 40's!  If they continue the way they have started I cannot wait to see what's in store. 


22 April 2014

My week in photos

Hello my lovelies

Hope you all had a super Easter!!

I know it's been yet another few weeks since posting and I need to accept the fact that that is just the way it's going to be.  I'm busy busy with work, being an Auntie and now that the sun has come out, pottering in my garden :O)  I hope that's ok.

However, I do update my facebook page and instagram regularly with snapshots of what I'm doing.  Are you on there?  Do pop by and say hello if you are. I particularly love instagram and sometimes I think pictures are just enough, you don't need to hear me rambling on in the background really, do you??

Here's a snapshot of my instagram account from the past week ...

* Making bloomers - yes I made them (tutorial to come as it seems lots of people like bloomers, who would have thought)

* Paddling at the beach.

* Making Dolls (soon to be available in my shop)

* Making Bags (soon to be available in my shop)

* Watching Gogglebox - cannot tell you home much I just LOVE that show

* Drinking vino

* Enjoying the Sunshine

* Pottering in my garden and sewing alfresco

* Making smoked salmon roses and scrambled egg

* Deciding whether or not I should paint my kitchen shelves

* Spending time with the new love of my life ... my beautiful niece Sienna

* Potting up geraniums whilst patiently (not) waiting for flowers to bloom in my garden

* Tidying my kitchen as I was being filmed for a TV programme

* Decorating my easter tree

* Flat out like my teddy bear tidying 

How about you? What have you all been up to? 

27 March 2014

Please support Irish Cancer Society

I've just come from the Daffodil Day HQ in Roscommon.  It's amazing the amount of people in and out donating daffodils, bunching daffodils and volunteering to stand on the street tomorrow and sell them. 

I do hope you all support in someway as proceeds go to the Irish Cancer Society.

I have also been overwhelmed with the response I had to my blog post with the free knitted daffodil pattern.  I have been receiving bags of them from people locally and nationwide. Thank you so much to each and everyone of you x

Let's hope tomorrow the sun shines as the weather was just awful last year. 

The knitted daffodil brooches are €5 and available to buy from the Daffodil office on Main Street in Roscommon (formerly Sparkys Discount Store). 

Thank you for supporting and a special thank you to the lovely Lucy from Attic 24 blog who gave us permission to use her crochet daffodil pattern also. 

15 February 2014

Knit a Daffodil for Irish Cancer Society

Last year my mum, myself and lots of lovely local ladies knit up lots of lovely daffodils which we then sold on Daffodil Day for the Irish Cancer Society (full details here)   It was a huge success, so much so that this year the Irish Cancer Society have asked me to make the pattern available for more people to get involved.

Daffodil Day is a yearly event in Ireland whereby daffodils are sold in order to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society.  You can find out lots more information here on their official website and how you can get involved in fundraising.    This year's Daffodil Day is on 28th March and we would love you to get involved, by stitching some lovely daffodils that will then be sold to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society.

How do you get involved?  

Simple.  Use the pattern below to knit the daffodils.  (There's a pdf version at the end of this post with step by step pictures and instructions).  Then when you have your daffodils knit up you can liaise with your local community fundraiser as to where you drop off the daffodils for selling on Daffodil Day.  You can find your local fundraiser by calling the free phone number 185060660

In Roscommon (Ireland) we are asking you to knit and make up your daffodils, then place them in a plastic bag (ideally with your name and the amount of daffodils you knit written on a piece of paper in the bag) and drop them off to the Coffee Morning on 14th March in JJ Harlows Bar, The Square, Roscommon.   They will then be sold on Daffodil Day (28th March).   If you are outside Ireland and wish to take part that would be fantastic, simply comment below with your email or email me direct at michlle AT michellemadethis DOT com and I can give you my address to post the daffodils to).

If you have any questions at all please feel free to comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.  In the meantime let's get stitching!!

All you need to get started is:

Green DK (double knit) wool
Yellow DK (double knit) wool
Knitting Needles (4mm)
Safety pins 
Darning Needle

The pattern is as follows:

To make the daffodil

*Cast on 2 stitches (Yarn A)
Inc1 (by knitting into the front and back of the stitch) at beginning of each row until you have
11 stitches
Break yarn* and place on spare needle or holder.
Repeat from * to * 4 more times until you have 5 petals.
Knit across all 5 points
You should have 55 stitches in total
Knit 2 rows
K2tog, K1 (28)
K2tog (14)
K2tgo (7)
Cut thread and use tail to thread a darning needle.  Insert the needle through the stitches and secure. This forms the flower.
You will need to sew a few stitches to join the last petal with the first.
Then weave in all the end.  It is essential that you weave the ends in and do not simply snip them off as it will not look as neat and is likely to unravel.

This pattern is an original, copyrighted design. Please do not reproduce or distribute without
first obtaining permission. I am happy for items knitted from this pattern to be sold for charity
fund-raising but please do not knit up for commercial purposes (ie to sell for personal gain).
© copyright michellemadethis 2013 All rights reserved 

To make the trumpet

Cast on 14 stitches (YA)
Knit 4 rows
Cast off tightly (the cast off edge will be the bottom part of the trumpet that you will stitch to the daffodil)
Join short sides together to form trumpet and sew in centre of petals

To make the stem

Cast on 20 stitches (Yarn B)
K 3 rows
Cast Off
Sew long sides together. 

To make up

Attach the trumpet to the centre of the petals  
At the same time you can attach the stem to the back of the petals and then stitch a safety pin in place so it can be worn as a brooch. 

This pattern is an original, copyrighted design. Please do not reproduce or distribute without
first obtaining permission. I am happy for items knitted from this pattern to be sold for charity
fund-raising but please do not knit up for commercial purposes (ie to sell for personal gain).
© copyright michellemadethis 2013 All rights reserved 

A few tips and tricks on making the daffodils

  • Kniting a complete daffodil and sewing it together takes approximately 45 minutes and I wouldn't say I am a very fast knitter. 
  • I find knitting as many petals as I can on circular needles makes the process a little quicker. 
  • If you are in a knitting group why not share it out.  1 person could knit stalks, 1 person could knit petals, 1 person could knit the trumpets and another person sew them up?
  • We used small safety pins as the brooch part and they are just fine.  You can buy them very cheaply in discount stores or 2 euro shops. 
If you have any other comments, tips or tricks feel free to comment below.

Please make sure you have an up to date version of Adobe.  You can download it for free here 

Alternatively you can download the file from ravelry (no need to be a member)  HERE 


**** addition to origial blog post 24th Feb 2014 *****

I am thrilled to say that since posting this I have had lots of people getting in touch saying they are going to knit the daffodils which is fantastic.  I have also had people asking for a crochet pattern.  I am delighted to say that I have one for you.

The lovely Lucy from the beautiful blog Attic24 has given permission for her crochet daffodil pattern to be used for the purpose of selling along with our knitted daffodils on Daffodil Day.

You can find the pattern and step by step instructions on how to crochet the daffodil here.

Thank you to everyone for taking part in this :O)


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