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Oh me oh my oh DIY 2

Posted on 29 September, 2014

This Sunday I ventured to my second Oh me, Oh my DIY workshop. It is a day long boot camp of DIY demos with everything ranging from millinery to pickling! I loved the first one in June so much that I was eager to book a place at this time around.

My own golden rule was that before I could book a second workshop I had to have put some of the skills and tips I learnt in the first one into use! No more bookmarking and dreaming only.

Once I thought it about I realized that since the first one I had tried my hand at decoupage, put the photography tips to use regularly, spray painted and I had even used some of the clothes stylist tips when trying to pare back the mess that is my wardrobe. So effectively I was good to go for Round Two!

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This time around Jack from the Rocket Man thought us the basics of preserving. I was a definite fan and if you are on my Christmas card list expect some preserved goods to come your way.

Next up was Alice Halliday who wowed us with the cloak she made for Florence from Florence and the Machine. She gave some great tips on how to jazzy up some unloved items of clothing and we all got stuck in upcycling our own. Here is a sneak peak at mine…

IMG_7169-001Joanne from Kyle Lane was so cheerful and warm and had made every one an initials plaque for us to paint and distress (she is the cheery one holding the Love sign in the collage at the top).

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Next up was a bit of millinery with Aoife from Potty but Posh. She was a mentor at the first one too and I was thrilled to see her back again. She talked us through making a “Whimsy”.  I LOVE mine and even wore it with my pajamas this morning. I’m pure classy now! All I need  to complete the look is to take up smoking and get a cigarette holder!

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Last but not least was Jill who taught us how to forage. She talks about nature so respectfully you can’t help but want to hug a tree before you correctly snip some branches. Under her guidance I made this very expensive looking bouquets with a cheap as chips bunch of gerberas and some foraged goodies!

IMG_7206Listing what we did gives you a little bit of an idea but the best way to describe the day has to go to the woman beside me who said “it’s like Blue Peter for grown ups.” There’s sticky glue, scissors, painting, playing with nature and all the make and do that you can handle.

My only regret is that I didn’t take a million photos of the amazing space and decor. (Although the organisers did a great job at that so you can head over to their Facebook page for a look at how it looked)

It was like walking into a magazine but a magazine with friendly hosts and a great group of women just wanting to have a laugh on a Sunday morning. And all here of this is here in Cork!

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I’m a bit of a style addict and I love little details. The whole space was full of beautiful autumnal surprises and little details that make it feel really special.

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Basically, I just loved it, from start to finish. Now if you’ll excuse me I must put back on my whimsy and pretend I’m a film noir star.

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(See if you can spot me! , Hint I’m in the back row!)

A week in photos

Posted on 26 September, 2014

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This week I’ve been trying to find a purpose for the 5 tea packets I bought at a car boot sale ( I love the humble request just to try his teas , comparison is all he asks!). The only thing I’ve got so far is to make my own tea. If you have any more inventive suggestions please let me know…IMG_7042

 

 

…we bought the booster seat I bought for Ewan at last weekends car boot sale to good use. Although I’m sorry to see his little clip on seat go. I’m a big fan of the seat because it meant he could sit at the table with us even as a tiny 5 month old. Plus we don’t have room for a high chair so it worked perfectly.We got a full year out of it and we can still use when he is out and about so I won’t mourn it quiet yet.

Plus the wooden booster seat was a complete bargain and still in it’s original box. He seems pretty pleased with himself too and looks all grown up at 17 month old!

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To finish off the week here are some gratuitous Ewan shots just because…

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Compote a go go..

Posted on 25 September, 2014

Today I got my compote on! I must admit I’m a first timer . My life, to date, had not called for a compote.  But when I set about fulfilling my two day long urge for pancakes I came across this Lilly Higgins recipe that suggested a little blueberry and lime compote to go with them. So after a trip to the farmers market we were good to go.

As I side note it looks like I’ve turned into a bit of a cliche mum that goes to farmers market to buy fresh organic produce  but that’s just how I roll now!

Now back to my compote.

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As you can see from the recipe  there’s not much to it. Sugar, lime juice, blueberries and heat until a little gooey. The fun isn’t in the making though, the fun is in the pouring, making glorious drips and then of course eating it all up. Because the pancakes are half wholemeal and I’m eating them with fruit I’m totally convinced this is practically health food!  

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blueberry and lime compote, pancake stack IMG_7099(By the way the recipe said it feeds 4 but for me it did two hungry people for lunch).

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Oobleck…

Posted on 24 September, 2014

Yesterday I decided to create a  mess. We had a morning of a parent and toddler group that left us both exhausted. The effort of meeting new people makes me sleepy (I may actually be a child!)

So, in the afternoon I decided we were staying home and being childish. After looking for inspiration I hit on making oobleck . Oobleck gets its name from the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck where a gooey green substance, Oobleck, fell from the sky and wreaked havoc. I had never heard of it before but according to my parenting bible   it sounded like great fun. ” When pushed together it seems dry and solid, when you let go it flows like a liquid.” Intriguing I thought.  So with what was meant to be 1.5 mugs of corn flour and one mug of water off I went.  Food colouring was optional and thankfully I didn’t take that option!

It turns out it really did wreck havoc.

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While I’m a fan of getting messy I am not a fan of hours and hours of clean up. I realise there is a certain contradiction to complaining about a mess when you set out to make a mess but I was really hoping for controlled mess! On blogs it seemed so easy to get rid of, a splash of water they said!

Not so much for me.

Here is what made it more mess than I could handle:

-Making it in a room with a sea grass type carpet and not covering the floor properly ( I forget that Ewan is not inclined to stand still,particularly when he is told too)

-Making it too watery (I misread the ingredients  and made the cornflour portion in cups rather than mugs but still added a mug of water, oops)

-Making it in a room with a fabric couch,

 

-Making it far away from the sink

 

– Making it where Ewan could wander off not in his chair in one spot!

 

-Not having a towel ready

 

– Hoovering the mess (Hoovering does absolutely nothing.  You need water but our carpet is incredibly awkward and can’t get wet. It was here when we moved in!)

 

-Putting the oil cloth outside to dry after I washed it, it got soaked in a heavy shower, I had to bring it in, there was still some corn flour mess on it, it made a watery corn flour mess on the tiles, mopped it up badly

 

– Trying to take photographs with semi-clean hands meant lots of camera  and phone cleaning that went on well into the night!

 

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Other than that it was great fun but if I ever brave it again it will be on a tiled room, with a towel and no couch and Ewan will be sitting! I did really enjoy making this video though (it’s a short video because Ewan wandered off with a cup of oobleck which took my attention).

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It’s fun and gooey and a crazy texture but never again!

 

 

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Call off the hounds…

Posted on 22 September, 2014

The search is over. I have found a reasonably priced winter coat.  On a whim I thought the charity shop in Carrigaline might be a good place to look for a winter coat. I have exhausted every shop in the city so it was time to spread my wings.

In my mind Carrigaline is a posh suburb and therefore their charity shops should be full of good quality coats and their native pottery, Carrigaline pottery. Well, I was right on one count they did have some good quality clothing on offer in the St Vincent’s de Paul charity shop.

And I picked up this coat for a bargain €7 !!!!

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It also goes pretty well with the leather bag I bought at the car boot sale in Rathcormac yesterday.

IMG_6983It’s warm, lined and makes me feel like I work for Aer Lingus in the 1960’s and for €7 how could I go wrong!

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A big thanks to Steve, my pro photographer, for giving up some of his lunch time to take pictures of me in the garden.

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Culture Night

Posted on 20 September, 2014

Every year I think “oh yeah , Culture night is on this weekend, oh that was last night wasn’t it”.  Well not this year, this year there was studying of the program and even an advanced booking! It was not going to pass me by (again!).

Culture Night is the one night of the year when Cork  throws open it’s doors open and free events flood the program. Galleries, theaters, church towers,parks,food markets, flea markets, everywhere you look there’s something happening and it’s all free!

This year the city even opened it’s river and that’s where my friend Dee and I headed first. Meitheal Mara (which roughly translates as community of the sea) are a community boatyard who specialize in currachs  . They provided us with a long boat and team of rowers to take us, and other keen Corkonians, for a trip on the River Lee.

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The currachs looked stunning but if we had got a place on one of those we would have been put to work rowing. As it was we got to sit back and enjoy the city from the river.

 

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We went under Patrick’s Bridge, a bridge which I cross nearly every day and found a surprise. From above I never knew it had a pretty cool bust of St Patrick, the man himself,  hidden under it’s arch.  Each arch has a carved stone bust watching over who passes under it’s arches and I never knew they were there. IMG_6829 IMG_6851

The Meitheal Mara people were warm and friendly and they even made the rain hold off until we got back! It felt pretty special to see the city from the water and to be rowed about the place like ladies. We  landed back to the quay pretty chuffed with ourselves and Culture night wasn’t over yet.

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After a some food and a quick trip through the English market which was thronged with muscians, dancers and wine drinkers we stocked up on black rubbish sacks and headed to Fitzgerald’s park to watch a film. The black sacks were in lieu of blankets or a seat but as it turned out they provided enough cozy beanbags and chairs to go around.

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In full rain gear we sat on our black sack covered bean bags and settled to a night of The Commitments and an overall feeling of smugness that for once Culture night didn’t pass me by.

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Ikea and Vintage

Posted on 17 September, 2014

When we first moved into the house I went Ikea mad. Both Steve and I were working so our weekends consisted of driving to Ikea, buying all around us, eating meatballs, driving back,unloading the heaving car to get ready for an assembly marathon the next day.  Four years later the house is looking less like it stepped out of the Ikea catalogue.  Mixing in vintage bits and bobs with the Ikea stuff takes the newness away and suits our old house much more.

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The latest vintage addition is this second hand cast iron fireplace in the bedroom. Steve spotted it at a second hand market when we were in Wexford and I had great hopes that he might become a thrifting enthusiast. Alas he has confirmed that his thrifting days are over just as quickly as they begun. Still for a first timer he shows promise…

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I’m actually in love with it and feel like it has been in the room forever.

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I’ve been playing around with putting things on the mantle piece. Almost every time I pass it I move something, add something or take it away.  I haven’t figured that out yet but that’s all part of helping the fireplace settle in.

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Ewan was determined to photo bomb  the pictures so after cutting his wayward hands and feet out of most of the pictures I decided to give him one of his own.

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In comparison to this Instagram picture  from 9 months ago both he and the room look all grown up now!

Freebies

Posted on 15 September, 2014

While we neglect our own garden we seem to be lucky enough to benefit from the bounty of other people’s gardens.  So with freebie fruit and veg I set to work making Kale crisps . ( I say Kale knowledgeably but I had thought all Kale was curly so it took a lot of Googling before I could confirm that it was actually Kale that we had been given, it turns out it comes in straight too!) The crisps  really are fool proof and basically you add a little oil and sea salt and bake.

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The result is grand but it’s not exactly a taste explosion and really can’t compare to a good pack of Salt and Vinegar Taytos!!

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Next up were the large bag of apples that Ewan helped steal from his grandparents in the early hours of the morning last weekend.

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We have so many that we’ve decided that cider is the long term goal but in the short term I made some Spiced Apple Butter. Using Lilly Higgins guidance  it turned out yum, yum, good.

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It’s rare I make things I’m pleased with but this is one of them.  After Sunday morning was spent stirring we now have a stock pile of the Spiced Apple butter that will make some nice presents for that time of year that nobody is allowed talk about yet.

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After that kitchen marathon I’m planning to avoid that room entirely for the rest of the week (well, except to get things that I can spread Apple butter over).