Sunday, 29 September 2013

The big one!

Hello,

Baby reached the big one this week. Of course this makes him officially not a baby but he's always gonna be my baby!
Baby a year ago!
All grown up, well sort of ! He's getting a big boy room makeover this week, Annie Sloan paint at the ready.

On the work side of things I've been starting to get things made for Christmas and listing a few on my etsy shop. Christmas stockings at the ready! My studio/craft room is fast turning into a little Santa's grotto.

Have a great day,
Maria

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Foraging in the Garden, apples & blackberry time

Hello,

What a glorious day today, where did that heat come from? A perfect day for some foraging for food in the garden! We planted a few apple trees two years ago and this year is the first year there is something worth picking. I choose a variety of apple trees, cooking and eating, early and late season. Hopefully in a few years we'll have a huge crop!
Next up berries, I am not sure what these berries are called, like yellow raspberries? If you know be sure to tell me the name.
Finally, we found some hidden blackberries. As we live in the countryside we have a native hedgerow that produces a bountiful supply of blackberries. Before we built the hedgerow had been cut back roughly every year and it had four huge gaps in it that had served as building site entrances. We planted a small number of plants to help it along but in the most part the plants have spread naturally, especially the blackberries.
We've been eating them for a month and a half now so this will probably be one of the last batches this year. Blackberry and apple crumble in the oven right now, oh yum. This is the inside of the eating apples, oh my the taste!
So patience is the key when growing apple trees, but totally worth it.
Next up I am trying to re-organise our composting. Between being pregnant and then baby being small and now he is nearly one its time to get things in order again. We have a composter , one of those big blank plastic things which I find to be totally useless. If anyone has any composter tips please do let me know! We were thinking about building one out of wood?
Have a great evening and happy foraging!
Maria

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Daytrip to Dublin

Hello,

We had a great trip to Dublin at the weekend. There was an airplane show called Flight Fest on so a day trip was in order. I can't pretend to know the first thing about airplanes and helicopters but it was an impressive display even for me!
Next up was a walk around town whilst the boys checked out Marks Models on Hawkins Street, we admired some of the buildings including the old Gas Building, nearly 200 years old!
You just have to ignore the monstrosity that is the Dept of Health building opposite (seriously how did that building not get demolished during the boom years?).

Onto Trinity College, note to self, start college funds asap.
The flight fest was still on so it was very surreal to see planes flying right over heads and so close to the buildings.
Southside over, time to go back North and over O'Connell Street to try to spot the bullet-holes in the Daniel O'Connell Statue. I remember doing that as a child too!
Just enough time for some window shopping, check out the windows in Arnotts if you are walking by. Nice to see a change from dressed mannequins, I think they have been watching Mr Selfridge!
I love living in the countryside but there is days when you gotta miss Dublin!
Have a great evening!
Maria

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Dress Patterns - New and Vintage

Hello,

I've been a little caught by the dressmaking bug! In my search for patterns I treated myself to this gorgeous book this week
It is beautifully done, contains five patterns including one top which is very like one of my existing favourite tops so that has to be fate! The book ends with this dress below, I am dreaming of it in many colours and patterns.
And of course not to forget the vintage. Here's a Diane Von Furstenburg pattern, I can't see a year on it, but I am guessing 1980s. 
Next up another oldie but I really think this is very Temperley London. 
Now all I have to do is figure out how to make all these dresses and my wardrobe will be smiling from ear to ear!
Have a great weekend,
Maria

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Nominated for Blog Awards

Hello,

Every year in Ireland they have "The Blog Awards" and look I got a badge! It's pretty fab to be on the long list for Best Craft Blog and in such good company too!!

Yeah, Blog Awards!
Take care,
Maria

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Clothes Recycling

Hello,

I saw this article yesterday in the http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/sep/06/picture-of-week-clothing-recycled# , kindly shared by Claire in the Handmade Design Store in Mullingar.



It reminded me of the huge (at the time) television documentary /expose on a few years ago all about how so many clothes found in may of our beloved clothes shops are made in sweatshops, sequins sew-on by children in refugee camps, people basically working incredibly hard , in horrendous conditions for next to nothing. At the time I had a lovely vest top from a certain shop which had the most beautiful design in sequins on it. When I bought the time I honestly did not give seconds thought to how on earth it was possible to make such an item for a few euro. Then I watched the documentary showing small children handsewing on sequins in refugee camps. I could never bring myself to wear the top again.
Food for thought!

Have a great evening,
Maria

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Girls Dresses and the search for inspiration continues...

Hello,

I was listening to a speech recently and the guy giving it was speaking about inspiration. He was urging people to seek inspiration everywhere and to travel. With three little people and a wonky budget, just talking off to say Barcelona for the weekend is in the past (for the moment only I hope!) so I was a little skeptical. Until of course I realised you don't have to look too far for inspiration, you just have to look around, as simple as that! Then I remembered I had a small collection of vintage patterns and magazines so time to take another look at them.

This is a French magazine from 1923. I bought it a few years ago when I was thinking about making girl's dresses and that was put on the back shelf. I love the 1920s style so this magazine is a treat, all I need is a translator!!
And possibly the patterns.
How fab is this?
I also came across a cool Diane Von Furstenburg pattern for a dress which I am going to have to try, might have to work my way up to it!
I also did a little research on 1960s dresses for children and completed this one, and here's my 1960s style dress for girls. Its made from Cath Kidston fabric (a little different to her usual ones!) and a contrasting blue inside the sleeves. 

Next up a stripey number.
Have a great day,
Maria