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 !




#CraftingIsMyTherapy_May on Instagram, Here is May’s RoundUp

#craftingismytherapy_May - join in with this creative community on instagram. All crafts welcomeWell May is nearly at an end and we are onto June soon, so my time as a co-host of the tag  #craftingIsMyTherapy_May is coming to an end on Instagram. If you are wondering what the heck is that all about, have a read here on my original post explaining it.

Thank you to Nicole and Jennifer for asking to me participate.  I tried my best to comment and like each of your posts, it was great to see a good variety. Some I shared on Twitter throughout the month and on Instagram stories.

So just to recap, here’s a roundup of some the pictures that caught my eye.  I have included each persons Instagram handle for you to check them out.#craftingismytherapy_May - join in with this creative community on instagram. All crafts welcome

Lovely makers starting from top left and its @ crafticland, top right @ yarnandblarney.  Bottom left @shirleyrainbow_tb and bottom right is @knottyhoops .

#craftingismytherapy_May - join in with this creative community on instagram. All crafts welcome#craftingismytherapy_May - join in with this creative community on instagram. All crafts welcome#craftingismytherapy_May - join in with this creative community on instagram. All crafts welcome#craftingismytherapy_May - join in with this creative community on instagram. All crafts welcome#craftingismytherapy_May - join in with this creative community on instagram. All crafts welcome

The lovely Rosina crocheting in Spain you will find her here @ zeensandrodger

#craftingismytherapy_May - join in with this creative community on instagram. All crafts welcome


Look at that fabric … yum this is from @meyouandmagoo Nicole started this hashtag.

#craftingismytherapy_May - join in with this creative community on instagram. All crafts welcome


and this is from Jennifer, another one of the hosts.  I think maybe a perfect craft to do with the kids, my sister likes doing these – @jenniferslittleworld

#craftingismytherapy_May - join in with this creative community on instagram. All crafts welcome

and last but not least Emma from @ emmacraftsdesign Love this ripple blanket.


So please head over to instagram for a peek at the hashtag and see some other lovely makes and makers.  Follow along if you fancy,   I am sure June is going to be craftastic too.

Now I am off to finish some painting and decorating!

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 !


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

Decoupage Plates – An Upcycle Project

Upcycled Plate Chargers using decoupage

I did a guest post on Fizzy Jayne Makes blog back in March for National Craft Month…. here’s the actual post on my blog in case you missed ……

I posted before on decoupage and using it on upcycling projects, you can read about it here. With this project, I had some plate chargers, you know the ones that make an appearance at Christmas.  Well, we had a bunch of these that we never used & I was going to dump, when I thought hmmmm maybe they could be used.  So I decided to try and cover them with some paper and make them seem like they old and vintage looking.

So here’s the plate before – just your regular silver plastic plate charger, nothing fancy with this one.  You can get this in the Euro shop, they are not expensive.

Upcycling - plate chargers to vintage plates

And here’s the after.  I did 4 plates with 4 different looks using napkins on some and scrapbook paper on others.  I wanted the plates to look old and worn, kinda vintage looking.  What do you think?

pcycled Plate Chargers - Tutorial using paper

pcycled Plate Chargers - Tutorial using paper


Upcycling - plate chargers to vintage plates

Upcycled Plate Chargers using Napkins & Scrapbook Paper


What to know how I did it? Well here’s a little quick recap.

Napkin Plates:

The aim was to make the plates look old & worn, vintage looking ……

  • I cleaned and lightly sanded the plate
  • I painted the plate in white. I did two coats to give it a good coverage.
  • I separated the napkins and only used the first layer – see below, it’s important you only use the first printed layer.  I tore  the pieces  I wanted to use and played around with the design. (On the green plate plate I didn’t tear it up I just carefully placed it on the plate and glued it bit by bit & blended it in.)

NapkinLayersNapkin pieces








  • I then used some decoupage glue ( you could use some watered down PVA or mod podge but I find this glue the best with napkins ) and glued the napkin pieces.  They wrinkled in places but I didn’t mind as I think the wrinkles make them look old.

Glue for Decoupage








  • At the edges, I used some bitumen and rubbed it along with my finger.  You could use some dark wax but be careful, a little goes a long way.  I used some on the inner rim as well.
  • Next up I used some rice paper (rice paper is a little bit thicker than napkins and easier to use I find ) I had some with “home sweet home” printed on it. I tore around the print and glued this on top of the napkin and lightly sanded it to blend it in.  I used some bitumen on this as well to age it.
  • On the blue plate, I used some gold leaf around the edges
  • I sealed the plates with some clear varnish and lightly sanded them when they were was dry.  I repeated this process until I was happy with the result.  Be careful here as you don’t want the paper to tear. Just lightly sand it!

scrapbook PLATES:

  1. I cleaned and lightly sanded the plate
  2. I soaked the paper in water and peeled off the back, I did this as the paper was a bit too thick to use and it was easier to use if the paper was a bit thinner.
  3. Using some decoupage glue I glued the paper down to the plate and rubbed it into the plates rim and all around.  Now it did wrinkle a bit here and there, but as i wanted it to look a bit old and worn I didn’t mind this. Wrinkles can be good!
  4. Now the paper didn’t cover the plate fully, there was gaps on each side where the paper didn’t cover.  So I used some regular acrylic paint and blended the paint the colour of the paper.  I sanded and distressed this until I got the look I wanted.
  5. Next up, I used some gold leaf.  I just placed the glue on the parts I wanted the gold leaf to appear, this was in and around the edges of the plate. I wanted the plate to look old and that the paper was peeling and coming away.  I used some bitumen to make the paper look old in places as well.  You could use dark wax or even an old tea bag to stain the paper.
  6. I let it to dry and coated it again with the glue to seal it and I lightly sanded it afterwards, the paper part only.  I did this a couple of times to make sure everything blended in together.

Note: these plates are only for decorative purposes, just a wipe of a cloth will keep them clean.

So that’s it, hope you enjoyed the process, if I have left anything out or you need to know more please comment below.

So have you done any upcycling lately?

Till next time!

Enjoy Maura x



How to make a cute String Art project

A little crafty project for a rainy day ….. or any kind of a day! All you need is some string and nails.

Here’s one piece I did recently

A tutorial on a simple string art project

If you want to try it out, here’s what I did, it’s very simple and only takes about an hour or so.


  • String, I used some crochet thread I had, you could try embroidery thread, some yarn or any kind of string you have sitting around really.
  • Scissors
  • Pin head nails
  • Hammer
  • Glue, I used mod podge.
  • Piece of wood, I used a scrap piece I had, nothing fancy to it
  • Template of the shape you are going to use
  • Paper or paint, if you want to dress the wood or you could just leave the wood as.


  1.  I traced my shape onto the paper first & cut it out.

A tutorial on a simple string art project

2.  I then used some glue & stuck the paper to the wood

3.  I then hammered the nails around the shape making sure I placed them well, I didn’t hammer them in too hard but enough that they were in place & not likely to come out. Be careful here with your fingers !

A tutorial on a simple string art project

4.  Now for the design, grab your thread & begin treading it around the nails. I went up & down then across over & back . I kept going until I was happy with the look. Sometimes I had to push the thread down the nails, I wanted it to look full. Glue the final thread down.

A tutorial on a simple string art project

That’s it! I am thinking maybe a little knob or hook might look good on this piece what do you think?

You could also try doing some of these with the kids, of course only letting them do the thread part, a kid with a hammer ouch! It would be good for their fine motor skills.

Here’s a little project I did with my kids, they wanted stars, so I used some cookies cutters I had on hand and some map paper I had in my stash. I used some brightly coloured cotton yarn and let them off, not bad ….

a simple little string art project for kidsa simple little string art project for kids


Definite going to try this again, I have an idea for a bigger design . I have created a string art board on Pinterest for inspiration, have a look and see what you think.

Till next time …!

#I link up here ..

Make a Pin Cushion with a Jam Jar Lid

If you have been following me on Instagram, you’ll know I have gone a bit crazy doing some stitching. Well as I have been stitching, my needles have been getting everywhere, so I decided to make a little pin cushion to help out Mr Tomato.  See he has a buddie now.

Make your own pin cushion with a lid from a jar and some scraps

Want to make one? All you will need is a lid from an old jar and some scraps of material and some stuffing.  Here’s a breakdown ……

Lid from an old jam jar
Scrap fabric cut in a circle shape to fit the lid
Bits of ribbon or ric rac, buttons – anything you have in your stash to decorate
Glue Gun

  • With the circle of fabric, do a running stitch all around and place the stuffing inside, then pull thread to close and sew in place.


  • Put some glue in the lid and place the fabric in it and hold for a few minutes until it’s well stuck down.
  • Now you can glue some ribbon or ric rac around the lip so you wont see this lip and embellish away.
  • I did a small bit of backstitch on the fabric at the start, you could try something like this or just leave as is.



Make your own pin cushion with a lid from a jar and some scraps

Make your own pin cushion with a lid from a jar and some scraps



Thats it …. simple, till next time !







Giveaway prize from the Crafty Mummy Blog …. so here’s what I did

I recently won a giveaway from the Crafty Mummy blog, yah me! I never win anything, in fact the last time I won something was back when I was about 12 years old and it was an umbrella ….. ugggh so, to say I was delighted was an understatement and especially as it was all crafty stuff.  So I got my box of goodies, thank you Kasia by the way …..

This was the prize (picture from The Crafty Mummy Blog)


and here’s what I did ………….

Upcycled Jars

I painted & decoupaged some of the Jars and tried some folk art painting on one.  My hooks & pens are taking pride of place in these.



I decorated some of these little wood cut outs with some paint and more folk art hearts






Upcycled Jars


Upcycled Jars

With the ribbons and hesin & other little bits, I decorated some more jars that I use for my craft supplies.  All prettied up now.

There was some chalk board paint included so I upcycled one of my old kitchen doors and put it in my craft room.  This paint is amazing by the way, its goes on so smooth, much better than other brands I have used in the past.

UPcycled Kitchen door into a chalk board Blackboard paint





If you want to read more on The Crafty Mummy blog, please hop over, she has a great crafty blog and I am loving her stuff.  She also has recently started up a new business venture called The Cute Kitsch, which is a monthly craft subscription box full of craft goodies! So please do pop over and have a peek.  Wishing you all the best Kasia.

Till next time folks!




Craft Club Blog Challenge – 2016


So I decided to take part in the CraftBlogClub Challenge, hosted by Fiona of Fizzi Jayne Makes & Katie from Katie Gets Crafty.   I found out about this through the #CraftBlogClub Twitter Chat, which is a weekly chat for craft lovers and bloggers alike.  It’s on every Tuesday from 7pm – 8:30pm. Just follow @CraftBlogClub and use the #CraftBlogClub or read about it here  I am a newbie to Twitter so that was a great way to get to know & follow crafty people. I just took the plunge one night & joined in and it was full of friendly like minded people. So if you want to get involved with the chats, just look for @CraftBlogClub over on Twitter. You won’t be disappointed!

Now back to the challenge.  This years challenge was based around learning a new craft or technique, you can read more about the challenge here.  I decided to try some embroidery. Now my sewing skills are not the best & I regularly have spats with my machine but hand sewing is not so fussy, so I thought, & I love love hoops as seen in this post and fabric of course.  But I do love looking at embroidery pieces, they really are like little pieces of art.   I definitely think this was the push i needed to get started.

Here’s few pictures of my process & some finished pieces ….. what do you think?

My contribution to the CraftClubBlog ChallengeMy contribution to the CraftClubBlog Challenge


My contribution to the CraftClubBlog Challenge

Embroidery Hoop - CraftBlog Challenge


I have Jenny Hart’s book “Sublime Stitching  – hundreds of hip embroidery patterns and how to” and if you don’t know Jenny Hart, then get yourself  acquainted, as she has brought modern embroidery into the light.  This book has some wonderful designs and there are loads of transfers at the back of the book.  I just transfered the image to my fabric by ironing it on, simples!.  The fabric was some I had from good old Ikea.  I used 3 strands of Embroidery floss and a 5 inch hoop.  With the second hoop, I just used some perle embroidery thread and used the stem stitch.

I am loving embroidery so far and I am trying out some other stitches.  I have found the following sites/blogs particular good to start you off.

If you want to see my work in progress, I mostly use Instagram, you can find me here and I also have a board on Embroidery on Pinterest for some inspiration, you can find me here.

I started this little one a while ago, I used a heart motif & stitched the word Love, really like stitching letters! I did the outline of the heart in stem stitch.  I stained the hoop on this one, think it looks better.

Embroidery Hoop - CraftBlog Challenge

Embroidery HoopsHave you joined in on the challenge ? You can have a peek at what others having been trying over here.  There is a linky also if you wish to join in.

Till next time  – enjoy!





New Year … New Projects !


Happy New Year to you all ! Hope you had a lovely time over the break.  Just a small post to say hello and since I last posted ….. way back in 2015, I bought these …..

EDITED: I have included links to the patterns, sorry I forgot to do this!

Crochet Craft Books

I worked on this  & finished it in 2015 – yah!
This blanket is from the Attic24 blog and you can find details here

I started another blanket – my vintage rainbow blanket, this one is for me, so god knows how long it will take to finish!
Pattern is from Happyinred blog and you can find details there, she calls it The Diamond Stitch Blanket
Vintage Crochet Rainbow Blanket

I tried my hand at amigurumi, and hats off to the people who do this all the time, it’s so fiddly and look at poor bunnys face, need to work on that !

This pattern is from Simply Crochet Magazine

Crochet Bunny

Made some coasters and going to try my hand at making these into squares for a cushion cover.

I found this pattern over at this blog – 6ichthusfish, here’s the pattern link

Crochet Coasters

Started some puff stitch hats ….
Working on this pattern myself, hope to post soon!

Puff Stitch

Tidied up my work area and bought this …. love it !!!

Ikea Cart for my Yarn !

Ooooohed over everyone’s Best 9 on Instagram ….. here’s mine.

Best 9 from Instagram


As you can see its all crochet at the minute, it’s just too miserable to be working on other things.

So what projects have you been working on?