Bring it all back to you...

Recently I jumped on the bandwagon and watched the awesomeness that is Stranger Things on Netflix and it brought back so many memories of being young, watching The Goonies and ET for the first time and how fun hanging out with your friends for ten hours a day could be.

It made me miss all the cool things we used to have as kids and got me thinking about crafty ways of bringing the 90's back into my life....

I don't know about you but I loved trolls and had quite the collection. I also love biscuits. So this cookie cutter is perfect for bring them back into our lives in a very delicious way just like cookienan has done. 

Speaking of delicious things, I think we all remember the feel of soggy string on our wrists after biting our way around a candy necklace. Now we can be proper adults and use them as elegant napkin holders at our fancy schmancy dinner parties! Thanks to The Fairies Home for this idea. 

The many hours we wasted with one sheet of paper predicting our future love lives.... Nowadays paper fortune tellers are used as wedding favours, classroom tools and even in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy! Refresh yourself on how to make one and download your free template from Skip to my Lou

I had about 3 million sticker books and never did anything with them. This tutorial from FancyMade on making a sticker iPhone case is a great way of bringing both the 90's and stickers back into your life! 

Ah the feel of a feather pen on your cheek as you daydreamed about what jelly sandals you were going to buy.... Bring that feeling back and make your own fluffy pen with this great tutorial from Fashion Follower.

Bring back all the things you love about the 90's by sewing (or hot gluing if you're lazy) patches to your backpack. Wildflower and Company have super 90's inspired patches for you to choose from. Or maybe add some enamel pins? Chic Kawaii have some great ones like this awesome Polly Pocket one. 

And where would any of us be without the tattoo choker? Guess what? You can make you're own and it's soooo easy. Just follow this tutorial from Hello Whimsy

For more 90's inspired nostalgia please visit my Pinterest board here. Make sure you've got the Spice Girls blaring in the background first! 

A very crafty birthday

I was super blessed this year with a wonderful birthday surrounded by all my fabulous friends who have made moving to London the best decision I've ever made. Not only that but everyone absolutely blew me away with all their thoughtful presents and not only that but I hit the craft girl jackpot!

I got the cutest new knitting bag which is exactly what I needed as my other one was bursting it's so full! 

I also got this great little kit for building your own bird feeder which is super handy considering I've and two bags of bird seed in my press for the last two years and should really get it out to the birds....

As readers of this blog will know, I love colouring in and I equally (okay, maybe a little bit more..) love Harry Potter and some genius has combined this two into the Harry Potter colouring book, of which I got not one but two!! I was also given lots of colouring pencils and pens which means I can start colouring straight away! HAPPINESS overload.  

Unfortunately, the lovely woman my mother did home help for passed away earlier this year but she left a legacy of a life of crafting behind her. So much wool, crochet patterns, material that she probably could have had her own shop. One beautiful thing she left behind was this unfinished embroidery project which my mother sent to me. It's such a beautiful pattern and I can't wait to finish it and turn it into a beautiful cushion which will always be a reminder of this awesome woman. 


My family and friends also did something wonderful with their present buying - they supported independent artists. The awesome print is from Emily Mc Dowells studio. I love the sentiment of it and it's a mantra I'm going to try and take into my life going forward. I hate getting things wrong though so it may take a while.... 

The calendar below is from the awesome The Native State which not only is one of my favourite instagram accounts to follow but also makes awesome inspirational arts and stationery. Be sure to check them out. If nothing else happens at least I'm going to be inspired next year! :) 

Not only did my friends support independent artists but they became artists and got very creative with their envelopes and cards. This card is probably the greatest card I've ever received. Handmade is the best way. 

And finally the pièce de résistance.....

Meet Phoebe! Although I love my old singer sewing machine, it's impractical if I want to attend workshops or bring it to another workspace as it's so heavy so my wonderful mammy and daddy gifted me with this shiny, new, lovely beast of awesome! I am so excited to get started and finally get making some actual clothes... well trying to, at least. 

As you can tell I am super set up for a crafty year so expect a lot more making and blogging in the New Year. 

Thank you to all my friends who gave me such thoughtful presents, craft related and non-craft related. You are all wonderful people who made me feel so special and loved. xxxx

What's a Pakkekalender?

The making and giving of a Pakkekalender is a tradition which comes from Denmark. It involves making a gift calendar in any form you like but there must be 24 different gifts (whether they be toys, books, little poems, sweets etc.) and you give the whole calendar to someone else on December 1st and they then receive 24 little gifts in the run up to Christmas. Such a sweet idea!

For the next 8 days or so I have the privilege of facilitating workshops for Tiger to tell people about Pakkekalenders and help them to make one. It's been so much fun so far and so wonderful seeing families make something together and how pleased everyone is with their finished product. 

I have been able to make my own Pakkekalender already which was so much fun and made me realise how much I miss making things. 

I choose a red, what and brown theme which was a real challenge for me as there were so many other colours to choose from but it made be really inventive in the different ways I could use the materials and I surprised myself with some of the ideas I came up with!

I would like to give this Pakkekalender away to someone on December 1st so if any of you like the design please let me know by November 22nd and I will fill it with presents tailored to you and send it off to you in time? Just e-mail me at

And if you're dying of crafting envy and fancy coming along to a workshop to make your own, please find more information here.

Snowdrops and Daffodils, Butterflies and Bees...

My mammy, like most mothers in Ireland, is a tad obsessed with the Eurovision and particularly that 1970 gem of a song "All kinds of everything" as performed by the beautiful Dana. As soon as my nieces were able to sing she was teaching them the words and now they can sing it in their sleep! For ages, I've been trying to find her a gift related to this song but I couldn't find anything anywhere so, eventually, I decided to make it myself.

Using Photoshop (Oh yes, I've moved on from Microsoft paint!), I put together an image with the title as well as snowdrops, daffodils, butterflies and bees - that famous opening line! I then traced this template off the screen onto the fabric which was tricky but a bit of tape kept the fabric in place!

I then started sewing. I kept the stitches quite small and tight as I felt the small details of the images and font would be lost with longer stitches. I should have mentioned I know nothing about sewing and did not look up how to do any stitches before embarking not his project so I could very well be talking out of my arse!

But that was my plan and eventually I was left with this....

I then popped it into a frame from the awesome Oliver Bonas (sooooo addicted to that shop!) and wrapped it up using nature themed (obviously, I love a theme!) paper and ribbon.

This was in February. I managed to actually give it to my mammy in September. But it's the thought that counts right?

Return to Crafting

Hi all you Tiddlybobbers!

Sorry for the long absence but a lot of personal problems have kept me away from blogging for a bit. However, things have now begun to steady out a little so back to my craft desk I go.

I am lucky enough to have incredible friends and a group of them bought me a Hobbycraft gift card for my last birthday. I have spent hours on the site putting things in the basket and taking them back out and putting them back in again but finally I selected my chosen items and my box of awesome craft supplies arrived yesterday. 

Mmmmm... crafty goodness!!!

And it was just in time as today is the rainiest day in a long time so absolutely perfect for many cups of tea and lots of crafting. 

I've made a few projects today. I've become quite self-reflective in the last few months and have begun journalling. A bit part of that has been jotting down all the inspirational quotes I come across.

So I decided to bring this into our house and energize my housemates with an inspirational word on our wall. 

The wooden word is from Hobbycraft and was super cheap. I painted it in a lovely acrylic blue and popped it on the wall with Bluetac so now, as we descend our stairs every morning, we are inspired to do what we do best. 

The wall above my bed is very blank and I've been contemplating what to put on it for ages. I saw another wooden word on the Hobbycraft website and it instantly stimulated a project idea in my head. 

I painted the word in the same blue acrylic paint and then added gold glitter to some wooden pegs. I then hung some string with clear tape and hung up some clouds I had cut from white paper. Voila! A super cute way to brighten up my blank wall.

The final project involved my favourite crafting skill - embroidery. I bought a plain pencil case to keep all of my craft tools (pom pom makers, paper cutting knife etc.) in and brightened it up with some simple stitching and my favourite buttons. 

Feels so good to be making things again and I can't wait to post about more of my creations int he future. Sorry if I bore you to tears!

Interview with Sophia Cadogan

I am very lucky to have spent my teenage years developing my creativity with a local youth theatre group, Kildare Youth Theatre. I had the most wonderful opportunities there, least of all becoming friends with some of the most magical people I have ever met. One in particular, Sophia Cadogan, has also been the embodiment of beautiful things since I met her and now she is bringing that to the world through her artwork. 

Sophia recently started posting pictures on her Instagram of her gorgeous pieces combining watercolours, exquisite typography and of course, my favourite, glitter!! The second I saw them I knew I wanted one so I asked Sophia to commission me a piece around one of my favourite quotes "We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams." I was so excited about what she would make and I wasn't disappointed for when this showed up on my doorstep I almost peed myself with joy! 

I also asked Sophia if she would like to be interviewed for my blog so I could find out more about how she creates such wonderful work and share that with you in the hope start it might inspire you to indulge in your own creativity. 


Has art always been a passion of yours or is it just something you've come to recently?

I have always loved art. Since I was able to hold a pencil I've been trying to draw. I began using Disney VHS covers as reference images in the 90's and slowly progressed from there. Art was my favourite subject all through school and through college, drawing and painting continued in between essays and assignments! In recent years I've had less time for it (what with creating a tiny human who now takes a fair amount of my time and attention) but as this tiny human became a tiny bit more independent (for like 10 minutes at a time anyway), I've been able to get back to it. Since I am currently working random, sporadic hours, I'm at home a lot with the tiny human so I decided that I might as well turn that aul hobby into something useful! Who says your passion can't pay your bills?? (Well, here's hoping!)

You are using watercolours in your most recent work - are they as difficult to work with as everyone says they are?

Um, yes! well no. Well, ehhh.. you see. I'm mostly self-taught when it comes to, well, most of this so I'm always terrified that I'm not even using the correct techniques. I have very little patience so oils never suited me, I like acrylics for more detailed pieces but for these illustrations I'm working on at the moment, the watercolour splashes work really well and I find it’s a really effective, vibrant look that’s quite simply achieved. It is very VERY easy to overwork them though, so knowing when to stop is very important I find! Less is ALWAYS more.

Is there anyone or anything that inspires your work or does it all just come from your imagination?

Inspiration is constant. I have a little ideas thread on my phone and in random notebooks that I jot down notes in as ideas come to me throughout the day. I could be searching through images or something idiotic on the web or flicking through books, just walking down the street and something will strike me as a possible idea. If anyone were to read it thought it'd be hilarious, oftentimes its just a meaningless string of gibberish or crap that I thought made sense at the time - ''hourglass-...ravenclaw-...why skin attached?... spill some popcorn- monopoly? '' -- just an example, Don't. even. ask. 

I get really inspired by other artists, I was in Madrid recently in the Reina Sofia and swooned over Guernica and the other Picasso pieces there, so  I came back and it was all geometrics, angles everywhere! I also saw some incredible war inspired drawings that really affected my line drawing technique. I was the weirdo in the gallery squinting as close as possible to the pieces without the surly guards coming to drag me out the door. 

I also fucking love street art, there's a few amazing accounts on Instagram that are constantly inspiring. At the moment I am having a major moment for Joe Caslin, his recent project 'Our Nation's Son's' around Ireland is unreal. 

There's so many incredible illustrators out there at the moment too. Instagram is a great place to discover new talent. I adore aymsdesigns, found her instagram account a good while ago and she's been a great inspiration - to be so young and use her talent to build her own business is so awesome. 

What are your favourite and least favourite parts of creating a new piece?

My favourite part is when the idea is still in my head and the page is blank because then I cant possibly fuck it up and its still mine and perfect and flawless, haha, no honestly, My favourite part is probably just seeing it coming together in the final stages (when I haven't messed it up). I also love initial sketches, there's something raw and lovely about an unfinished sketch, (although some would say that's just my laziness). 

My least favourite part is definitely my inevitable fuck up. I don’t think there is a single piece that I've completed and thought, yup, 100% flawless! Those little imperfections help me to learn for next time though and make every piece unique I guess (or something something about making excuses for myself!). I also, love the part where it's all finished and mounted and done, and I can finally be proud! I spent years with just scraps in sketchbooks so it's so satisfying now to see some ideas become finished pieces. 

If someone wanted to start creating work like yours - what would be your number one tip?

Try. and try and try over and over again. and mess up, fail and then try again. If you want to be an artist, make some art, and then do it over and over and over and over again.  I used to go on and on about starting up something like this or getting more serious about my art but as long as the ideas were all safe in my head and I hadn't tried, I therefore couldn’t fail. I could be comfortable in the fact that 'I could do it if I want'. Once I got over that fear of failure and actually embraced it (cuz you're gonna fail, a lot) I slowly, slowly began to have little successes and then I found I was doing something I could actually be proud of. (There should probably be a Beckett quote around here somewhere).

Also, invest in a ruler. I eventually had to admit to myself that I am not a super human and NO, 'true' artists don't know how to draw perfectly straight lines (why the hell was I labouring under that illusion??). Rulers aren't for nerds and squares, they're for super hip artists too. Rulers for life. #rulernation

What's your favourite piece of work that you've produced and why?

I hate them all equally. 

HA, no ok, It's hard to pick a favourite. I am AWFULLY fond of this watercolour I made for my mates' apartment. Probably it's because it was the first attempt at a portrait with watercolours and my first actual commitment to using my art in a non-hobby way. (I'm sure there's a better way to phrase that). Plus I'm really chuffed that it is actually in my friends' home (they didn’t just humour me and chuck it in the bin) which I think was confirmation that I could maybe, just maybe do this whole 'art' thing. 

Also this: because It's on a wall in an actual house and that’s awesome and also because I can mural and I did not come up with a more natural and creative way to slip that in to this interview! Plus look! A toilet!

Extra special bonus question!! 

Could you tell us about how you create your pieces especially the lettering and what drives your choices?

Ok, so I adore typography and once tried to save for a fancy and stupidly expensive coffee table book that was purely about typography. I think my money ended up going on something boring instead like rent or feeding my daughter BUT there's always ye olde google! I love lettering, calligraphy, any sort of handwriting porn and so I've always tried to emulate that. I guess mostly I try out a few different fonts by hand until I find one that I feel would suit the tone of the piece. Ya feel me? 

Then I guess it's the composition is very important. You can go to class and learn about it OR you can wing it and mess up until you structure things in a way that doesn’t hurt your eyes and makes your picture-mind a happy mind. Whichever way works for you!! but, honestly, don't listen to me I'm just a dirty artist that’s trying her hardest to avoid getting a 'real' job. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this interview with Sophia Cadogan. You can follow her work via her Instagram account and even better, you can buy her work at her Etsy shop.

I can't wait to see what else is to come from this beautiful artist! 

Crafty fun times!

Well it's been a crafty week this week! First off I had to make some props for a drama club show. Well I didn't have to, I chose to! I facilitate a drama club for 5-6 year olds once a week and at the end of each term we do a little showing for the parents. This term it was all about space so the kids performed a short poem all about the planets in our solar system. 

I printed colouring book sheets of each of the planets from and gave them to the kids to colour in. I then took them away, cut them out and using masking tape to attach them to wooden skewers. 

This week I also made my first attempt at paper cutting and made a Secret Garden bookmark. I cut the shape of the keyhole out in white card and stuck it on top of flowery paper to give the illusion of a garden through the keyhole. 

I then stuck more white card on the back and added a purple ribbon. I didn't like the finished product as the keyhole is not as symmetrical as I would have like so I'll use a stencil next time! I also didn't think the paper did what I wanted it to so I'll draw the garden behind next time I think! 

I also finished a project I've been working on since the New Year but I'll tell you more about that one after Easter! 

How to make a pinhole camera

This morning all parts of the UK will experience a partial solar eclipse (the best since 1999 apparently!) but experts have been warning to not look directly at the sun when it happens so what should you do so that you don't miss this wonderful spectacle? Make a pinhole camera of course! 

What you need:

  • A Cereal Box
  • Tinfoil
  • A scissors
  • White paper
  • Sellotape
  • Something to make your hole 

Firstly, cut out a piece of white paper and sellotape it to the bottom of your cereal box. This will make it easier to see the projected image of the eclipse. 

Next, cut two slots either side of your cereal box and tape the middle together. 

Cover one of the slots with tinfoil. 

I then used a needle to poke a hole in my tinfoil but the size doesn't really matter so you can vary the size with anything you have to hand. 

And there you have it. All you have to do is bring your camera out and face your pinhole in the direction of the sun while you look into the box through the other opening - you should then see the projected image of the eclipse not he white paper. 

Unfortunately, for me, there were too many clouds so my pinhole camera never got used! All I saw was a cloudy sky change to a slightly darker cloudy sky! 

If you want to see what it would have looked out please check out this tutorial from Hilaroad which I followed to create mine.