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

Bloggy catch up

Apologies for another bloggy break - what can I say I've been busy dreaming/working :D   

My creative work got pushed aside for the beginning of the year as I took on a few other jobs.  What can I say - being creative is good for the soul but not when it comes to paying bills!  I've found myself going back to where I started and working in IT.  I've been doing more and more private workshops with people on blogging (the irony!) facebook and all things social media.  I've also been managing a few social media accounts for businesses so it's been a busy time!  

In between that I've been back at the cottage drinking lots of coffee

dreaming of making things (lots of DIYs to come soon) 

and the biggest project of all - re-decorating the cottage!

It all started in January - and I'm almost done!!! ALMOST

The sitting room and bedroom got their makeover first ...

Will be posting all the after shots in the next few weeks.

My bedroom hadn't been touched since I first moved into the cottage.
I was so glad to pull up the hideous lino that was full of holes from where I caught it when moving furniture!

I totally LOVE LOVE LOVE my new white distressed floorboards, they have made a HUGE difference!

I also painted the dark wardrobe, added lots of shelving and took off the end of the bed which makes the room much bigger.  

Since then I've had some stuff going on so I've had to press the PAUSE button on the redecorating but Spring has Sprung, the daffodils have bloomed and I'm getting back to it again.

I've also been ticking things off my Vision Board  - one of them being "Learn to play Piano".  I'm really loving it !  I bought this keyboard over 10 years ago in Selfridges in London and had to get a bus and two trains to get it home on a sweltering hot day.  Since then it's been in it's box and everytime I caught a glimpse of it I'd say "one day" in my head.  Finally that day has been and gone and I'm now playing the piano.  Can't wait to buy one for the cottage for a good old sing song :D  Where I'll put it is beyond me but you know me - where there's a will, there's a way! 

I do still find myself posting more to Facebook and Instagram so if you are on there be sure to pop by and say hello or leave your handles/usernames etc in the comments below and I will pop by for a visit. 

New Year New Workspace

Happy New Year everyone!

I made the long commute to work ... i.e. walked out the back of my cottage and up the garden :D

Finally I have somewhere to work from that isn't my home.  

Today is my first day working from the caravan ... how glad am I that her sale last year fell through! 

Not a great start at the mo as my head feels like it's in between two bumping cars (sinuses) but it's a BEAUTIFUL day here in Ireland and the sun is beaming in on top of me!  So much so that I've had to put up some boards against the window to keep the glare off my laptop screen.  What a great complaint on the 6th January!

I've got my winter woollies on though and the caravan is as snug as can be thanks to Seamus (electrician) who installed proper working plugs so now I can have a heater on without having cables running through an open window.

So what's everyone got planned for 2015?  How are those resolutions going?

I've been doing lots of prep work for my Vision Board this year.  As always I'm buzzing with ideas and plans for what I want to do, want I want to achieve etc etc

This year I'm focusing on trying to get my home back.  I started last year but then it fell by the wayside.  Working from home has so many advantages but for me I've had enough.  I'm tired of sharing my kitchen with my work and the rest of the cottage too!  I really want to separate the two and have my home back.  Alas it's not that straightforward.  Renting a work space is too costly just now so I'm working on using the caravan as a work space for the short term and the long term goal/wish/dream is to convert a shed beside the cottage into a proper studio/workshop etc  Needless to say it's on the vision board (and has been for a while)!  In the meantime my pinterest board is providing lots of inspiration whilst I also work on funding the project.

I love this space

I know it's totally not my usual style but I'm in the mood for a really clean open space and everytime I look at my pinterest board this one really stands out.  I'm sure I'd have it filled with polkadots and bunting in no time!   I think it's the long table that really appeals to me for workshops.  

I also love this space 

Aside from that I've got lots in the pipeline for 2015 and am enjoying preparing my Vision Board.
Do you create vision boards?  If not I highly recommend it.  

Here's a little something to get you started.  

Just sit down with these questions and either think about your answers or write them down on  paper.  Then use google images or magazines to find pictures that relate to your answers and simply paste them on a large piece of card that you can pin up in your home.  Ideally put it somewhere where you will see it everyday. 

I run a few workshops on creating your own vision board too.  More details here on my website.  

Let me know how you get on.

In the meantime I wish you all a year full of love luck and happiness x

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.  

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!

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? 

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


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