25 November 2014

Invitation to my Christmas Cottage Pop Up Shop

It's that time of year again.

Feeling festive? If not, you sure will be after a trip to Michelle's Charming country cottage just 4 miles outside Roscommon town.

Michelle is opening the doors of her cottage to you for a one weekend only and transforming her cottage into a winter wonderland pop up shop bursting with handmade Christmas lovelies.

If you are looking to inject some rustic, cute, quirky and handmade charm into your home this Christmas this is the place to go.

Michelle has been stitching, cutting, pasting, painting and crocheting since July getting ready for this event .

Expect to find handmade Christmas decorations that you will not get in the shops, personalised gifts, wooden signs, Santa Cookie Plates, beautiful appliqued and embroidered cushions, Christmas wreaths and LOTS more all entirely made by Michelle, in the very cottage you will be visiting.

You heard it here first.

Get that date in your diary.

Ho! Ho! Ho! There's not long to go


P.s. Festive jumpers are optional

If you are on facebook you can link up here.  

20 October 2014

St Anthony found my accounts

As I write this I am sitting in a state of complete calm enjoying a bowl of soup and feeling all at ease with the world.  All thanks to St Anthony.

For those of you who never heard of him, Saint Anthony is who we in Ireland pray too when we lose something, I kid you not.

After spending the weekend in a state of what can only be described as "complete panic" trying to find my receipts and accounts for my tax return - this cottage is like the abys at times!!  I finally, before having a total meltdown decided to pray to Saint Anthony and plea with him to help me find my Accounts.  I woke up this morning thinking I would have had some sort of sign but nothing.  Went about my day in more of a panic and then .... sat down on the bed this evening and looked at my wardrobe and thought "I wonder" ... opened the door and there at the bottom of the wardrobe .......... all my accounts and might I add my favourite portable watercolour set after I going out and buying a replacement one last week!

And the moral of the story is .......... well there's more than one
1 - I need to keep on top of my accounts (YAWN!)
2 - I need to keep my cottage tidy (BIGGER YAWN!)
3 - I clearly need to buy more shoes - surely if there's space at the bottom of my wardrobe for my accounts it's a cause for concern

Now I'm off to do my accounts ................ if you read between the lines you will see that I actually said ..  Now I'm off to do some online shoe shopping

I just came up with a eureka - I need to go out with an Accountant - then he can do my accounts but also fund my shoe shopping. Seriously - why have I not thought of this before?

Happy Monday peeps!

1 October 2014

New Blog Headeer

Feeling restless with my blog ... again 

So I thought I would give it a little makeover and decided to start with a new header image. 

The problem I have with 'michellemadethis' is that I can't be put in a box.

Story of my life!

I don't like to be labeled with just one description ... michellemadethis is, as the name suggests, about things I make and I can't just stick to one medium.

It's very frustrating as a 'business' model as all the books, business guides, mentors encourage you to find a niche and market the hell out of it.  I don't have that 'niche' I'm an all rounder. 

I like to knit, sew, paint, draw, write, crochet and lots more !!!

So the other day I played about with some ideas and a scrap of wallpaper saved from my bathroom!

and this is what I came up with ...

It's a little dark and I know there's a stain and tear and crease in the picture but do you know what I like it like that.  It sums me up perfectly.  I'm all for recycling, upcycling, or whatever the trendy crafters of today want to call it.  

So here's a big shout out to those of us who don't want to be put in a box!!  

Is that you?  Are you a multi-crafter? 

30 September 2014

September Sunshine

We have had the most amazing September Sunshine here in Ireland.

I only took these photos a few days ago of my sunflowers.

Check out that blue sky!!


Hard to believe that this was taken in September in Ireland!  See .. it's not always raining here as some would believe.

As you can tell I got a bit carried away. Between the glorious sunshine, the blue skies and my gargantuan sunflowers, which I've grown very fond of.

I planted approximately 100 sunflower seeds earlier in the year but these are the only ones that survived my pesky slugs!!

I transplanted them from their pots to here, which is just outside my kitchen window.  Not ideal as it's very exposed and they needed strong stakes but worth it as they are just lovely to look out at everyday.  Little bursts of sunshine looking in at me.  

While I was out with my camera I took a few more of the garden. 

Hard to believe that we are in Autumn and that winter is on the way.

I will miss hanging my washing on the line ... one of my favourite things of summer.

I will also miss all the flowers I have sewn from seed this year.

  and the scent of my sweet peas.

However.  I do love Autumn.  For me it's like a mini New Year.  I am always bursting with ideas and enthusiasm ... possibly a little to do with the fact that Christmas is nearly here.  Those of you that follow my blog will know that I am a HUGE Christmas fan.

Do you like Autumn?  What is it you love about Autumn?
I have another post already written about this and will wait to share later in the week.

In the meantime enjoy the last day of September!

Michelle x

26 September 2014

A walk in the woods

Today has been, still is, such a BEAUTIFUL day here in the West of Ireland. 

We are being blessed with the most stunning September I can ever recall.  The skies are just the most perfect blue and the sun is beaming all day long.  I'm still wearing my summer clothes and sun glasses every day, it's just bliss!!

I was lucky enough to spend my morning with a lovely friend on a leisurely (hmmm maybe not so leisurely) walk (make that hike!) through Doughill Forest up Sliabh Ban mountain.  We checked it out on the map and estimated it to be 6k which is what I've been walking a lot lately but over three hours later we decided the map must be wrong :O) 

Hard to believe that this is only a couple of miles (or as they say in Ireland "a stones throw") from my cottage and yet I have never been here.  That is all going to change.  It was just glorious! I can't wait to go again. 

It was truly magical.  I don't think we could have chose a better day.

There is nothing on this earth that can make you feel as good as a walk in the fresh air.  It blows away all the cobwebs and I always come home bursting with ideas and enthusiasm. 

I got a little over excited in the moment and burst into song at one point !

After three hours we finally made it to the summit .... 

Can't say the summit itself was worth it, actually a little disappointing, but the walk up and back was most definitely worth it.  

I was so glad I had my camera.  Not only for the pics but for the fact that I finally worked out how to take a panoramic shot !!

Overall a truly fabulous day!

Have a great weekend peeps xx

22 September 2014

Happy Thoughts

LOVE this book my lovely friend Tracy bought me. 

I'm going to try and fill it regularly with happy thoughts.

Today's' happy thought .....

What are your happy thoughts?

21 September 2014

DIY Bloomers

If like me you're a fan of bloomers, aka pantaloons, you will know how hard it is to source them.  Actually that's not entirely true.  You can source them but they are either a) extortionately priced or b) from the Downton Abbey era and therefore TINY!  

So, armed with a pinterest board of inspiration, a boxset of Downton Abbey (not vital) in particular the above image that I adore from here, an old sheet (I kid you not but you could buys some nice cotton or linen), intermediate sewing skills, a determination, desire and need for said bloomers I set about making my own.  

I used a pair of pyjama bottoms as my pattern/template.  I just traced around them onto brown paper allowing extra width in the legs. 

I then folded the sheet flat on the table and lay my pattern piece along the fold and cut two.  You end up with two pieces of fabric looking roughly like this (when unfolded) 

If you are using plain white fabric (as I was) put a small mark on one side of each, or a pin, so you know which is the right side or wrong side.  Trust me you will be confused if you don't.

Fold wrong sides together

 Pin and sew the inside leg seams on both pieces so you end up with two tubes/legs. 

 Then pin and sew the crotch seam , front to front and back to back.

See here - the back crotch seam is sewn up (lying on the table) 

It should then look like this - a clowns pair of trousers :O) 

All you need do then is turn over the waist, allowing a 2inch fold where you will insert the elastic.  Take your elastic, put it around your waste and stretch  until it is taught, that's how long you will need it.  Insert it in the fold and secure by stitching into the seam.  

To finish the legs I used elastic in my bobbin to sew the gather and then trimmed the hem with some lace edging.

There you have it.  Super simple and pretty (I think so anyway) bloomers.

I'm dying to make another pair.  Will do a better tutorial when I do as I was too eager to get these ones made and didn't take enough pics.  

Would you like a more detailed tutorial?


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