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Blondies diy up-cycle cat bed.

Hi everyone.
Today I have a fun upcycle project for you and also a review of the wee red boutique chalk paint mix. 
 I picked up this Ikea dolls bed after seeing them up cycled into pet beds on Pinterest.
For ages I have been wanting to give it a shabby face lift for Blondie and I decided to test the chalk paint mix on it. 
Read on below for all the details on what I used and how I mixed the paint and also a quick link to purchase the chalk mix.  


The below picture is the Ikea doll bed before I got my hands on it, it came with a blue blanket and pillow.

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We made it to the shortlist.

 # IBA16

Well everyone we made it! A huge thank you as if it wasn't for all your votes I wouldn't be going over to London in October. 
My flights are booked ( however the race in on to get my passport renewed) and I am so excited for the event next month. 

I really mean it when I say thank you as I know how long it takes to go and vote for someone and fill in the forms and email addresses so a massive massive thank you. The five blogs in shortlist had to get the most votes to get in so I can't thank you enough. 
When I got the email about being nominated I didn't think I stood a chance against all the other amazing blogs, I was over the moon when the shortlist email popped up on the screen. 
I am really excited to have my blog judged by interior professionals and to get some feedback from them too as one day I would love to be able to work within the interior industry and grow my blog. 

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Painting fabric?

My hand painted fabric chair.

Hi Guys I just wanted to pin this post back to the top of the blog as it was one of the most popular diy tutorials and I get asked lots about this pink chair when I post a pic on Instagram, people are shocked to find out that its actually painted and not upholstered pink, so have a little read at the post below. 

Yes nothing is safe now! I painted a fabric chair and love it!


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My cottage garden

I caught the green finger bug!

What a difference a year makes in the garden. It may be Autumn but there is still plenty of life and blossoms in the garden, I love seeing the seasons change and the changes that happen in the garden. 

This time last year I decided to clean up the garden, I am two and a half years in my house and with all the furniture painting and decorating I had neglected the garden.
So I focused on the front garden, I wanted it to look like a little cottage garden, full of trinkets, flowers and a home for bees and insects. 

You might remember last year I started it off by painting the ugly pebble dash wall white, despite everyone telling me not to paint pebble dash I couldn't look at a grey wall any longer so out came the large pots of Sandtex brilliant white and we got to painting. 
This made a huge difference as the white wall makes all the flowers pop out, its the perfect backdrop. 

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Hand painted cottage chic upvc door.

Hiya!
I am pinning this popular post to the top as I had a lot of requests about my painted front door. 
One year on its is doing amazing and I haven't had any chips and it has survived the Irish winter and summer. 
Have a peep below and let me know what you think. 
The post was originally written back in August of last year.

Chat soon,
Catherine. 



Hi everyone, 
So today I have a diy post for ya. This week I ( I say I, I mean we, as I am still on thumb rest after my operation so I was the gaffer giving the orders but not allowed paint), anyway We painted the upvc door from its original white color to this warm greeny/grey shade.

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The apple slice recipe

Little slices of heaven.

Hiya everyone, 
You might have seen these little apple slices on snapchat the last week, Mr Dainty came home with a big bag of cooking apples from somebodies garden and turned them into these tasty apple slices. 
I finally got some pics of the apple slices before I ate them all and I have the recipe. 
They are sooooo easy to make and very little ingredients. 

Now to disclaim! I don't cook but I certainly love to eat, especially pastry's so this recipe belongs to himself. 


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Memory hearts.

Sentimental sewing. 

Hi everyone, today I want to share these memory hearts that I made recently. 
For those of you who follow me you'll know I am kept busy in the teddy factory making memory bears. I was asked to make some hearts and I was so pleased with how they turned out that I will now start making these to order. 

I think they are a fab idea as I know not everyone wants a memory bear /cushion or sometimes they might not have enough fabric to make a bear from. 
I was thinking these would be really sweet to add to the Christmas tree as a little keepsake. 

Just click on the mail icon on above to email me and place an order. 
The frames are 25 euro (postage extra) and the hanging heart on its own is 10 euro and 12 euro if you want a personalisd message on it. 

Thanks for stopping by.
Catherine.

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My diy country cottage kitchen make over

DIY cottage kitchen face lift.

Hi everyone,
Back in winter of 2014 I took the plunge and gave my ugly kitchen a makeover, lots of you ask when I post a pic on Instagram how I done it and what I used so have a read below for the details on how I done it. 

As you know I am obsessed with all things country cottage and shabby chic, the kitchen is the heart of my home as it is the room I spend most of my time in. 
The room gets good light however the orange cupboards made the room look smaller. 
I had always dreamed of having a cottage style kitchen, as I had only bought my home I could not afford to spend thousands on a fancy new re fit. 
I had tackled a few painting jobs in the house and felt confident to take on the job of painting my presses. 

My before pictures are terrible so please excuse them as it was long before I had gotten my good camera. 
Don't let money stop you from having the dream home you want. 
My whole kitchen cabinet makeover cost me less than €100 and three days of graft and elbow grease.

Also as it is almost 2 years now since I have done it I can happily report that my cabinets are still in great shape with no chips and have been washed and wiped down many times and have held up amazingly.

Also by doing this job my self and saving a fortune means I had plenty of money to spend on the fun kitchen accessories. 









As you can see the whole kitchen was dull and dark!, you'll also notice the little Santa on the table as it was around November I tackled this job.

So I really really wanted a new kitchen and weighed up my options. A new kitchen was anywhere up to €3/€4k especially in a fancy colour so that was ruled out. 
Then I got a quote for a respray and that was around €950 which was not bad but then I decided to try the Autentico superior eggshell and managed to do the whole makeover myself for change from €100.

I had used the Autentico eggshell on my interior doors so I had a little experience of using it.
I chose the colour called frozen fountain. It's a lovely shade, it is a warm grey with a green undertone to it and in different lighting it can look more green.

I got my Autentico paint and primer off Ursula in Trim in her shop Nook, she is a fountain of knowledge and has plenty of experience with this paint so I highly recommend Ursula and if you are stuck picking a colour then she is your lady to chat to. 


Here is a better pic of the colour (these pics were taken on my phone so they look a little grainy) 
The reason I went with grey is because of my white back splash and my worktop. 
When I first bought my house I was mad for a cream kitchen like most people are at the moment as cream kitchens are so popular right now. 
The more I looked at it a cream kitchen would be too harsh with the tiles and back splash so I chose this grey shade. I had seen some grey kitchens in Ikea and in the fancy kitchen shops so that made up my mind. 

So now for the technical stuff. 
How did I do it? 

Okay so I was painting on a vaneered mdf not solid wood. 

I prepped! And I cannot stress enough the prep. 
Sanded lightly with palm sander and especially concentrated on edges and around handles and these areas get most wear and tear and chip easiest. 

I think the reason my cabinets have lasted so long is because of the prep I put in. 



Then I washed them with sugar soap and rinsed in water.
Sugar soap cleans off all of the grime and grease that accumulates over time and gives your paint a good clean base to adhere to.  
Now here is a giggle and a great idea. 


I removed my cabinets and washed them down in the bath.! Mad? yes but genius ? Yes! Saved me a lot of mess and with it being winter it was too cold to rinse in the garden with a hose.

I prepped in the evenings after work. 
I removed cabinets as easier for me to paint on flat surface and less drips. 


Then I painted! The fun part. 

One coat of Autentico primer. The reason I used primer is because I was painting on mdf and wanted extra adhesion. 



Then two coats of colour. The autentico eggshell paint gives great coverage and great pigment so two coats was plenty.



Technique? 
I used a roller to get that pro re spray effect. I used a 1 inch brush for the surround and edges then used the roller to give that smooth effect. 
I did thin coats of paint I didn't slap it on. 

Drying time?
So I gave myself three days for this project. 
This allowed me to leave 24 hrs between coats however the paint does cure quicker than other eggshell paints and is re coatable in 6 hrs. 


I then painted my surrounds. 
I didn't paint the inside of my presses as they are a really light shade that compliments so to save on paint I left the insides the same. 


I treated myself to some new knobs to finish off my country style kitchen cabinets. 
These were €7 for 4 from Harvey Norman. 

I didn't use a varnish over the presses as the eggshell paint is really durable and self sealing. 
So here is the breakdown of what it cost me. 

Autentico primer €30 (have half a tin leftover ) 
Autentico paint 1litre €40 
New hardware €28
Rollers and sugar soap €5
Then 3 days of elbow grease! 

I hope this inspires you to maybe give your kitchen a face lift and save yourself some pennies because if I can do then anybody can! 
I love seeing your kitchen makeovers so please tag me in pics or leave your links in the comments section below. 

Please get in touch with any questions and don't forget to follow over on Instagram @daintydressdiaries 

Chat soon,
Catherine.


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Marks and spencer homeware haul.

Haul time! 

Can you believe it is almost the bank holiday weekend and it is pay weekend too, if your like me and paid monthly you will know the excitement of payday.
Today I have a really fun homeware haul post with one of my fave brands for home decor Marks and Spencer. As we are starting to come into Autumn I picked items that will freshen up my existing decor. 
Have a peep below for all the items and you might find something in the post that can be your payday treat?

Also there is 20% off Home and Furniture this weekend until August 3rd so perfect for that payday treat!
For more info and t&c's click here.

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Thank you!


I am finalist! eeek.

I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for my blog. 
I remember last year not even making the shortlist and feeling pretty crappy about my blog. I used this as an opportunity to work a lot harder and up my blogging game. I got better at taking pics and looked at ways to make better content and I am so delighted it has paid off and I got to the finals. 

I am in the arts/crafts and interiors category and the guys in my category are so talented and I admire their blogs so I cannot wait to meet them on awards night. I am also delighted that this year they made this category, recognising the strong talented crafter's and makers in Ireland. 

Also I wanted to take this time to say don't be disheartened if you did not make the finals in your category, the blogging game is so strong in Ireland and there are tons of talented writers and bloggers. I seen how disappointed some people were and I really want to reassure you that your work is amazing and keep going! your doing amazing and your pumping out fab content! 

I am delighted to just be in the finals this year and I really do appreciate all the support and comments and the little crafting community we have built. 

So here is to awards night, I am currently dress hunting to find the perfect dress and if you are heading drop me an email and we can meet up. 

Thanks again!
Catherine. 



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How to decoupage

DIY Decoupage

Hiya,
Some of you might have seen my dreadful attempt of a tutorial on Snapchat ( iv since fired my camera man lol) so I thought I would come on here and explain it a bit better. 

These type of tutorials I feel are better shown than read so i will do my best to explain. I want to get into sharing DIY tutorials on Youtube so hopefully early next year I will be able to share some videos with you, I am just saving up for a new laptop to edit the videos on. 

I had fallen out of the habit of doing decoupage, I was obsessed with it when I first moved into my home and loved how relaxing it was. The lovely Liz over at decoupage.ie had read I wanted to get back into it and sent me over some of her goodies to get me started. 

Liz also teaches workshops too so if you are inspired after reading this and want to do a day workshop you can find details by clicking here.

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Floating tea cup tutorial.

Hiya!
Have I got a fun tutorial for the teacup lovers today!
So I got lost in Pinterest and stumbled across some 'floating/flying' teacups.
A lady in a shabby chic group I follow on Facebook had also made one and I had to try it.
This one below was my first attempt and I was surprised by how quick it was to actually make.

If like me your already thinking about Christmas presents then this would be a gorgeous gift for the teacup lover.
These would be perfect also for weddings and tea parties
How adorable would these be on tables.



What you will need?

A tea cup of your choice.
A fork, wire or cable.
Some artificial flowers, pearls or anything you would like to stick on.
A glue gun or strong glue such as no more nails. 

I am a teacup addict so I had plenty of cups to choose from but check your local charity shop or buy and sell page and get a cheap second hand one.


You can get artificial flowers from the local pound shop or Ikea have nice ones.



I used a fork but on Pinterest I seen others used some cable, I went with the fork as it was all I had.
Bend your fork and position it on the saucer, when happy use your glue to stick, I used a hot glue gun. 
Then glue the top of the fork to the tea cup.
I highly recommend the glue gun for this as it dries quick. 

The picture above was my first attempt and a little tip, center the fork more on the plate than I did, mine was slightly off balance as I didn't center my fork.
Also for my second attempt I positioned the cup lower on the fork and this made it much more stable.
It might be a bit trial and error depending on the size and weight of the cup.
The picture below was my second attempt and that was much more stable and didn't topple over. 

Don't worry about being neat with your glue as it will all be covered with flowers.



Start covering the fork with your flowers.
I started with the leaves and built up the the rose buds.



Don't forget to cover the back and sides and have fun gluing it all together. 
I just used flowers but adding old jewellery like pearls and some bling would be stunning, you could even add some lace fabric if your making them for a wedding. 



Here is a little tip, if like me you went wrong and your cup is slightly off balance, glue some pennies to the base of saucer and it will stop it falling over. Make sure to glue the pennies were there not going to be seen. 






I think these look like something from Alice in wonderland! Perfect for anybody having a mad hatters tea party.
I love finding new ways to use old china tea cups. 
I hate seeing them hidden in peoples attics. 
Please share your tea cup up cycles and let me know what you think. 

Don't forget to tag me in your projects and leave the link to your blog in the comments section for me to check out. 

Chat soon,
Catherine. 

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August's craft orders

A month full of bears.

Hiya, I just wanted to share some of the memory and personalised orders that went out this month, I had a fab month with some really interesting items coming into the craft room. 
From old jackets to shirts and even some baby blankets it was a month of fun making these lot. 
Some I couldn't share with you just yet as they haven't gone to their new home yet so will share them in next months post. 
Lots of new babies this month too with letter frames and teddy keepsakes all going out to new homes. 

September is almost booked up so make sure to get in early if you want an item made for you for Christmas. 
You can drop me an email through my contact form on this page to have a chat about an order. 
At the moment their is a 2 week turnaround but I will give a date when placing order of when you will get your item back. 

A huge thank you for keeping me busy. 

Chat soon,
Catherine. 




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My fave fabric shops.

My go to places. 

Earlier this week a lovely lady asked me where I get most of my fabric from. I have a few go to fabric places where I stock up. I am a lover of floral fabric so I am always on the lookout for new stockists to buy from for making my little shabby chic bears. 
Fabric can be expensive, especially nice fabric. I get a lot of people asking where to get cheap fabric and they answer is you get what you pay for.  Unfortunately that fab floral shabby chic fabric is hard to come across cheap. 


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Laura Ashley guest bedroom makeover.

Bedroom transformation.


Hi everyone. Today I am over on the Laura Ashley blog sharing my post on my guest bedroom transformation. I am so thrilled to be sharing a home makeover post on their blog as homeware is my first love.
You can read the full blog post by clicking here.


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