Spring Sewing Workshops

After lots of requests I've decided to trial some one day workshops at the cottage.

The feedback I've been getting from people who attended short workshops was that they loved the cottage, and having the use of all my fabrics and buttons and sewing notions and would love to have a full day.  As all us stitchers know you don't find a few hours flying by when you are engrossed in a project. 

I've decided to start with three workshops and I'm kicking off with 

Do you have a sewing machine but aren't sure how to use it or are you thinking of buying a sewing machine but would like to "try before you buy" ? 

Are you looking to spend a day with like minded people in a quaint cottage drinking tea/coffee in china cups, eating homemade scones, trying out different fabrics and sewing techniques? 

If so, this workshop is for you.

I will get you sewing in no time. 

Come along and learn all the basics in my quaint country cottage with a cosy wood burning stove roaring inside. What better way to spend a couple of hours?

I will show you how to set up your machine and teach you the following:

How to thread your machine

How to thread and load bobbins

How to change your needles (different needles are needed for different fabrics)

How to sew a straight line! Trust me it is possible :O)

How to use different stitches

Please bring the manual for your sewing machine if you have it and correct sized bobbins as all machines vary.

Apart from that nothing else is required other than bucket loads of enthusiasm :O)

Call Michelle on 085 1111984 to book your place



65 euro, includes basic materials Please bring 1 metre of fabric if you wish to make a bag or cushion cover.

This is not just any sewing workshop this is a michellemadethis sewing workshop

This is the perfect workshop for you if you recently purchased sewing machine from Aldi


Easter at the cottage

 I hope you all had a lovely Easter 

I'm busy teaching Sewing Camps to kids but over the weekend I got to enjoy some time at home doing what I love most - some sewing, drawing, baking, a little spring cleaning (just a little) and lots of pottering. 

I just love these Easter themed cookie cutters.  I've had them hanging on my Easter tree as decoration but during the week I used them for the purpse intended to make some bunny cookies for the girls in my sewing camp.

I used a lovely buttery lemon shortbread recipe (my go to biscuit recipe) 

Meanwhile I filled the cottage with daffodils and bunnies to get into the Easter festive spirit. 

 I hope you all had a lovely Easter xx

Apple Pastry Roses

I am totally loving these apple roses!  I shared a video on my facebook page months and months ago but finally got round to making them.  They are super easy to do and so quick!  Perfect for when you want to impress with little effort. 

All you need is a packet of puff pastry and some nice red skinned apples.  I used Pink Ladies.

Start off by de-coring and thinly (I mean thin - think potato crisps) slicing the apples. 

Once they are sliced put them in a saucepan of hot water with a little lemon and simmer until slightly softened.   A lot of the tutorials/videos online don't mention this bit and let me tell you it's messy and annoying if you skip it.  When it comes to rolling the roses it makes life so much easier.  Trust me!

Meanwhile roll out your pastry or if you are really lazy (yep that's me) buy the ready rolled stuff.  Make sure it's been sitting at room temperature for at least an hour otherwise you will find it cracks.

Cut into 1 inch wide strips, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon and a little brown sugar.

Then get your slices of apple and lay them along one side of the pastry strips. 

 Turn the other side of the strip over on top of the apple slices and start to roll.

Voila you've got yourself a lovely apple pastry rose!

Place in a muffin tin.  I used a silicone one so I didn't need to grease it but if you are using a tin I would suggest buttering the tin first. 

Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes or until golden 

Delicious served with whipped cream, a sprinkling of icing sugar and cinnamon.


Easter Kids Sewing Camps

Hello lovelies.  Sorry this is a shameless plus for my Easter Sewing Camps for budding super stitchers or fashion designers out there.  
I will be running two camps from my cottage this coming Easter.  Choose from
21-25th March Mon-Fri 10.30am - 1.30pm 95 euro
29th Mar - 1st April Tues-Fri - 10.30 am - 1.30 pm 75e
During the week they will learn how to hand sew, sew with a sewing machine, design and make their own patterns and make several items all of which are theirs to take home. In previous camps we have made bags, cushions, dolls, wall art, pin cushions and lots more.
Camp is limited to 6 children to ensure they get as much one to one attention as possible. ALL materials are included in the price. We will take a 15 minute break late morning so a small snack/drink can be provided. I normally serve cookies and a glass of squash also (please provide alternative if they have special dietry requirements).

Starting a Craft Business

How many of you want to set up your own craft business in 2016?
If so what's stopping you?
What are the things you are struggling with?
Do you want to start a business but don't know what to do?
Do you have an idea but don't know how to sell?
Do you have a product but don't know how to price it right?

Comment below with your questions

I'm hoping I can help you out :D 

Three things that make you smile

Happy 1st of February my loverleeeees!

How did that happen? It feels like 5 minutes ago that I was packing up my Christmas decorations!?

How are your New Year resolutions going? I'm happy to say that I went the whole month alcohol free.  Not just for #dryjanuary but long term.  I decided the statement "I'm never drinking again was probably a little unlikely so I've added a twist ... I'm just not gonna go totally tee total I'm going to drink only champagne 💕 the way I look it is I'm unlikely to drop a bottle of champers in my shopping trolley doing the weekly shop and guess what it's working just fine.  I'm just back from holiday too and I had one glass of champers in the whole week!!

Lol I realise I am now sounding like an alcoholic but I know you know what I mean ... You do don't you .... Hello somebody speak .... 💕💕💕

So whats the plan for February? I think New 'year' resolutions are a bit full on so let's take it in months.  What three things are you going to do this month that make feel happy and fabulous and put a smile on your face? 

My three things are 

1 - Read more 

As I said I'm just back from holidays (sorry not wanting to rub it in) and I read three books in a week. That's probably the sum total of what I read all of last year!  Well maybe not but the week away has made me realise just how much time I waste watching rubbish telly when I could be reading a fab book which is far more enjoyable!

I'm really enjoying Lucy Diamond's books at the mo, possibly because there's almost always cake and coffee involved in the plot and of course a little romance 💕

2 - Walk by the sea

I cannot tell you how much I adore the sound of the sea.  I know it's not just me.  There is something so invigorating about it that makes me feel anything is possible so I'm going to try and get at least two walks by the sea this month.  I live in the midlands in Ireland , the nearest 'sea' is over an hour drive so I think two walks is realistic.

In the meantime I'm listening a lot to this

3 - Bake more

I love baking but tend not to do it so much as I live on my own and quite often end up throwing it away but I'm going to look at some bake ahead/freezable recipes.  If you have any suggestions let me know.  In the meantime I'm baking Lemon Drizzle cake today.  Yum!!

So what three things are you going to do that make you 

feel happy

feel fabulous

 and smile 

Comment below ..... 

A weekend full of cake

Hello lovelies!  I know I've probably lost half my followers as Ive been gone for so long but I'm back.  I've beat myself up a lot for letting my blog slip but you know sometimes you just have to let some things go if they aren't working so I did, but only temporarily.  

So let's catch up .... I'm starting from my favourite corner of the cottage on Friday morning.   Before I left for work I plumped up my cushions, put clean throws on my sofa, cleaned out the stove and filled a basket of turf all in anticipation of spending my entire weekend here :) Needless to say it didn't turn out as planned but it was still a lovely weekend nonetheless and I'm now sitting here... At last ... In front of the fire. 

My weekend has been (cue guilty feelings) full of CAKE really!

It started with Afternoon Tea at the lovely Lough Rynn Castle.  Honestly it's under an hour away from my house and each time I go I wonder why I don't go more often!  It's such a treat, not just the food but the whole experience. 


The highlight being my first piece of Christmas cake ... Okay it was probably a wedding cake but I like to think it's Christmas cake ! 

As if that wasn't enough cake for one weekend I then spent this afternoon baking. It's been really grey and wet wet wet here in the West of Ireland so I've loved having my table lamps on which make the kitchen so cosy.  

I started with delicious Anzac biscuits. Honestly if you haven't tried them you must! They are so scrumpscious!  

I also made a gorgeous Dutch Apple Cake which is heavenly!  It's so light, perfect on it's own but ding dong delicious with a big blob of cream! 

You always know how good a cake is when there's only one piece left in a matter of hours of it coming out of the oven! 

As you see things haven't changed much at the cottage ... I'm still eating cake and plumping cushions :) 

What about you peeps, what have you all been up to? 

Must dash ... Time to re-plump the cushions and maybe squeeze in the last slice of cake. Comfort eating as it's the penultimate episode in the last series of Downton #devastated


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