2016 what did I learn? the life lessons I learned this year.

Ringing in the new year. 



I wasn't sure if I was going to do a reflective post on the year as I didn't want it to come across like a "look what I achieved aren't I great" braggy type of post. This time of year is great for reflecting and setting new goals for the next year. There is something so optimistic about starting a new year afresh and turning a new page. 

This year I had lots of highs, I also had plenty of lows too but a lot of these I keep behind the scenes. I feel I have done a lot of growing as a person the past year. As I get older I question things more, should I be married with kids? should I leave my job while I am still young? I over analyse things. 
Here are some of the things I learned about myself this year.


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Video: Floating tea cup tutorial *updated.

How to make a floating tea cup. 


The most popular post on my blog has to be the floating tea cup tutorial so I decided to make a Youtube video to show how I make mine. 
You can click here for the original blog post with the step by step instructions on how to make them or you can have a watch of the youtube video below. 

I would love to see the ones you make so don't forget to send me your pictures or tag me over on Instagram or feel free to mail me using the contact button. 

I hope you enjoy the video and don't forget to subscribe. 
Thank you for all of your support on the Youtube channel I really appreciate it. 

Chat soon,
Catherine. 



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Weekend outfits with @iclothing

Lets get festive!

Hiya, well it is almost the New year. Is it just me or was that a really quick Christmas?

Today I have two looks both from iclothing, I picked two looks that I think would be perfect for the weekend, so wether you are going out? or going out out? I have two looks that I think you will love.

 Heading out?


I picked this classic dress as my night time look, I think it is so classy and would also be a fab option to wear on New years eve. I love a houndstooth pattern, it is timeless and something you can wear again and again. 
The cut of this dress is stunning. Definitely a head turner if your heading out and want to impress. 

I never know who I am going to bump into over Christmas so I always try and look glam. 
Oh! and did I mention that this dress has pockets! we all know how much I love a dress with pockets. 



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How to set good goals and achieve them.

Setting goals. 

I am relatively new to setting goals, you might remember last year I was using the 100 day happiness planner and it definitely gave me some enlightenment and I achieved some things that I had been putting off for ages. With a new year around the corner I am setting my goals and thinking of the things I want to achieve next year. 

I don't like new years resolutions, I don't think you should have to wait until January to start bettering your self. However in saying that, there is a sense of optimism that a new year brings. Closing the door on the past year and being optimistic for the future. 

I am going to share with you my top tips that I have learned for setting goals. 


Reflection. 


This is the hard part, you need to reflect on the things that you want from life. The things that bring you joy and also the things that annoy. Write them all down. Spend some time thinking about all of the things you wanted to achieve but have been putting off and the things that you want to remove from your life that bring you unhappiness. 
It is really nice to sit down and take stock of your life. This gives me a sense of control, like I am control of my life and I am not just plodding my way through it. 

" If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someones else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? not much!" - Jim Rohn. 

I seen this phrase whilst scrolling through my regular Pinterest binge and it really made me stop and think. Nothing is going to happen in my life unless I take the actions and make it happen. 
A penny dropped. 


Don't be afraid to dream. 


I find the question "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" such an awkward one to answer. It was a question I left blank in my last journal. Why? because I was afraid, afraid to write down my dreams for fear someone might see them and laugh. 
I now realise how ridiculous this sounds but maybe you feel the same. It is terrifying to think about the future. All the what if's creep in. What if I don't achieve it? who cares? their your dreams and goals and at least you tried to achieve them instead of staying the same and unhappy. 


Get out of that comfort zone. 


The magic happens when you do things out of the comfort zone. Now, it is terrifying but why not take small steps.  For me an example of this was starting a Youtube channel for my blog. This terrified me as it was a new platform, the video is up their forever etc etc, but I knew if I wanted to grow my blog and make it more of a success I would have to get out of my comfort zone. 
Another example for this could be travel? you might really want to see a certain part of the world but you are too afraid. Why not push yourself and book that flight. 
The more you practise this the more it will get easier I promise. 
The benefits outweigh the initial anxiety. 


Be realistic. 


This is something I have really learned this year. Even though it is great to dream and set goals we also need to look at them and see if they are realistically achieved. 
Break down the goal, so for example.
 "I want to be the next So Sue Me and be a blogging empire in the next year" 
Is this realistic?
Nope! That woman worked her ass off to build up her empire and it took a lot longer than a year!
So Instead, I can make a more realistic goal and say.
"I will grow my following by 10k next year and write x amount of quality blog posts and get better at photography."
That is a more realistic goal for me to achieve in the next year. 

The same could be said for someone with a goal for weight loss. 
" I want to lose 40 lbs in the next year"
Yes this goal can be achieved but it is a big one and life likes to throw in some curveballs so why not break it down. 
"I would like to lose 20 lbs next year and drop two dress sizes." 
That way you are not going to be disheartened when you only lose 20lbs and not the 40lbs, Heck you done amazing and you lost 20 lbs. 



Take action. 


Its amazing setting goals, but thats all they are going to be unless you write down how you are going to achieve them and take the actions to achieve them. 

So my goal is to grow my blog readership and following. 

How am I going to do that then?
So here are example of the actions. 

  • Write five quality blog posts each month with quality imagery. 
  • Allocate time for interacting and engaging with readers. 
  • Minimum two youtube videos per month.
  • keep learning and developing photography skills. 
  • Try new blog topics. 
  • Engage with other bloggers and collaborate with content. 
The list of actions can be endless but write it all down and pic the ones that you can realistically do each month to get you closer to your over all goal. 

Another one of my goals is to be happy. 
Now this is a pretty vague goal and I am not going to magically wake up truly happy unless I set myself some actions to achieve my goal. 
For this you can write down what makes you happy and then list the tasks you can do each month to bring you joy. 


Check in on your goals each month and don't beat yourself up. 


Reflect and check in with your goals. That weight loss goal slipped off the wagon? don't beat yourself up over it. Sit down and break the task down and ask yourself "what one task can I do in the next month to get closer to my goal ".

I am working on letting go and not being a perfectionist. So I have been practising changing my thinking. So instead of beating myself up over only writing two blog posts, instead I say " well its two more than none and you done well to write them considering how busy you were". 
Its not about making excuses either, It is very easy to come up with excuses for not doing things but don't be so hard on yourself and stop and reflect on what you have achieved so far. 

What are you waiting for?


For years I contemplated writing a blog. Like I was waiting on some magical fairy to come and tell me I could. I honestly don't know why I waited so long to start one. It was the same this year for me when I really wanted to start Youtube. I was making excuses, " I need quality lighting and set up etc etc, excuse after excuse and then I stopped and said "why"? Just do it and who cares about the quality for now, you can learn and develop it and at least you started.
Look at me know, I am 5 videos in and I am delighted I started it, whereas I could still be sitting here making excuses and waiting on that fairy to come and tell me to do it. 

Over Christmas while I have some down time I am going to reflect and write down my new goals that I want to achieve for the next year. My overall main goal in life is to be truly happy. I am going to reflect on the main areas in my life such as work, home life, hobbies and my blog. 
I am going to really dissect each section of my life and see what makes me happy and what doesn't and from that make the actions I need to achieve my over all goal. 

"Happiness is not something ready made. it comes from your own actions" - Dalai Lama

To write down my goals and reflect on them I use the Happiness planner that I was kinda gifted from farfetchedaccessories.ie and I will be using the 52 week dated one for 2017.
To get 10% off your paler is the code Dainty10 at the checkout. *discount valid until 11th of December. 


I hope you found this post useful and I hope you find it easier to set yourself some goals that will really make a difference to your well being and happiness. 

What is something you want to achieve in 2017. 
Lets have the chats below. 

Thanks for reading. 
Catherine.





** This is NOT a sponsored post. 
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Surviving Christmas

It's the most wonderful time of the year. 


It is also one of the most stressful times too. The pressure to have the "perfect" Christmas can take it's toll on us. Christmas can be an amazing time of year but it can also bring its own stresses and strains. 
Financially it can be a huge stress too and puts a lot of pressure on families. You might even have a family member poorly this year. 
The pressure to have the perfect instagrammable Christmas can leave you feeling burnt out come Christmas day. 
I have some tips for getting through it all to share with you today. 

I have had my fair share of shitty Christmases, I remember the year my dad died our heating broke and we had that snow! yep remember that snow! Now that was a crapy one. 
I love the time of year, I love the decorations and exploring places when its festive but I actually am not a massive fan of the day itself. 
I work long hours over Christmas which leave me feeling burnt out and come Christmas day I just want to hide under a blanket with a box of Tayto and a 6 pack of Guinness.



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Video: Christmas market and a ramble.

Farmleigh market.

Today is my last day off until Christmas, with a busy week ahead of me in retail I had to get out into the fresh air and have a ramble and recharge my batteries. 
Today was my favourite type of day, it was one of them bright sunny days but it was cold so I could wrap up warm. 
I decided to head to the local market that is held in Farmleigh in the Phoenix park. I thought everyone would be in the shops buying the last of their presents but unfortunately they had the same idea as me and it was so packed. It was great though as it gave me that festive feeling I needed to feel. 


I captured it all in a mini vlog for you to watch over on my youtube. I am looking forward to making more videos in the new year and I just want to say thank you so much for all of the lovely comments on the videos. 
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Tartan talk with Locharron of Scotland.

Creating something different with Tartan. 

I had the pleasure of working with a metre of the gorgeous light weight tartan fabric from Locharron of Scotland. I normally sew with good aul poly cotton but this was an absolute treat to work with a fabric of such quality. 
With my metre of fabric I made my favourite items to sew, I made a smaller teddy and a 16" cushion. I still even had some fabric left over from my metre. 

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Hand crafters and vintage sellers of Instagram

Shop small.




Instagram is not just a place for pretty pictures, there are some serious girl bosses over there and it is where I found these ladies I am talking about in this post. 
I love Instagram as you never know who you will stumble across whilst scrolling through your favourite hashtag. There is a massive community of small businesses and crafters on there for you to explore. 
These hustlers have jobs and families but also slay at the selling after hours on Instagram. Wether they are decoupaging, stamping, melting waxes or sourcing vintage homeware these girls are killing it online and have beautiful creations to offer. 
I know from my own side job that when you buy from a small business it makes a massive impact to that person. It funds the dream and keeps us going, nothing beats getting sales and the buzz of happy customers. Most sellers I know don't make millions from their work but they do it for the love, for their creative outlet.  

I have seven ladies to share with you today and I will make sure to link on each of them their Instagram handle for you to go and check out. 

The vintage stamp. 

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Video: How I decorate my home for Christmas

Christmas decor in Dainty's

Hi everyone, Its Christmaaaaaas! 
I made a fun youtube video for you guys to have a look and a nose around my house and a look at my style of decorating for Christmas. 

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The perfect Christmas day outfit

Christmas checks with Laura Ashley 


Stuck for what to wear Christmas day? Want something glam but you want to be comfy too? I picked a gorgeous outfit from Laura Ashley that I think is perfect to wear over Christmas. 
For me I want to be comfy on Christmas day, because I work long hours over Christmas I am craving comfort but  I don't want to be in  pyjamas all day either. 
I can't believe how close its getting to Christmas! honestly where does the year go. 

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Christmas homeware gifts under €50 with Marks & Spencer #AD

Homeware gifts under €50

Heya! hands up who is getting excited for Christmas, today I have lots of fab homeware from Marks & Spencer. I got to pick some of my favourite items that I think would make the perfect Christmas gift and best of all they are all under €50 so wether its a gift for a teacher, your boss or your bestie then I think I have something here for you. 

Have a peep below at my Youtube video and scroll below for tons of pics and all the details on the prices and links to the items too.


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Video: Christmas craft fair weekend, a behind the scenes.

Christmas craft fair 2016

Hi everyone, so this weekend was a mad one with my first ever Christmas fair, I had so much fun and have to say a massive thank you to everyone who came. Have a peep below at my Vlog of the weekend that I have over on Youtube.



Chat soon,
Catherine. 




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Christmas party dresses with @mykindofdress

It's party season!


It is the season to be extra sparkly and extra glam, wether its a Christmas party, a festive wedding or a formal dinner I have three looks that I think you will love. 
I have teamed up with mykindofdress.com an Irish website stocking sophisticated, elegant and classic dresses to share some of my fave pieces for party season. 


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Video: My diy country cottage kitchen make over

DIY cottage kitchen facelift.


                                                                              


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 did it and what I used so have a read below for the details on how done. 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 refit. 
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 which 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 that 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 veneered MDF, not solid wood. 

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

I think the reason my cabinets have lasted so long is that 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 greases 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 the flat surface and fewer drips. 


Then I painted! The fun part. 

One coat of Autentico primer. The reason I used primer is that 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 were 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 after 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. 


Chat soon,
Catherine.


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Autumn tea dress and a little catch up.

A quick catch up.

What a crazy few weeks it has been, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone for all the support lately, wether its a nice comment on my youtube, an order for a bear or a nice comment on my Instagram, I just want to say thank you and that each and every comment keeps me going, especially when I am knackered and just want to curl up with blondie and binge on tayto sambos. 

The next week is the final countdown to the craft fair and I also have some blog collabs to that I have to shoot for too so if I don't reply to your mail or comment, just know I have seen it and I will be in touch when as the madness calms down. 

In the day job we are coming into our busy time of year so it can be hard staying on top of blog posts, Insta posts, youtube videos and work too. I need an extra few hours added into the day with all of the things I want to do. 

I haven't shared a cute dress in ages so here is a adorable Billie & Blossom dress from Dorothy Perkins, I am wearing a size 10 and it is also a petite fit. 
My jacket is from Asos petite and it is on sale too!
My bobble hat is also from Dorothy Perkins.

Thanks again for all of the love and for those coming to the fair on the 26th & 27th I will see you then and cannot wait to meet you!.

Chat soon, 
Catherine.  


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Video: Laura Ashley ss 17 new collection.

Laura Ashley spring summer 2017 press day.



Today I flew over to London for the Laura Ashley press day, this is one of my favourite press days to go to as the displays are amazing and give me so much inspiration. 
I also got to see lots of my Instagram buddies too which is amazing and the girls in Laura Ashley are always so lovely its like a little family.


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100 days of happiness with my happiness planner.

100 days complete!

Hiya!
Some you will remember I started using the 100 days happiness planner earlier in the year and I have just finished it and was reflecting on the last 100 days. 

If you want to read my first post on the happiness planner just click here.

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The Peggy Porschen Parlour

This is a post for my cake lovers.
I couldn't go all the way to London and not go visit the Peggy Porschen cake shop. Probably one of the most Instagramed cake shops I  had to go and visit. 

I am a lover off all things sweet and sugary and I was able to squeeze in a quick cupcake on my London adventure. 
The cake shop is really close to Victoria station, so if you are in London you can get the tube to Victoria and it is roughly a 10 min walk. I got the Gatwick express train and that leaves you in Victoria train station so a quick google maps and a 10 min walk and I was there. 
Its in a gorgeous part of London called Belgravia, I love it around here as it is much calmer compared to the hustle and bustle of Oxford street and Regent street. 


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My tips for saving for your first home

Getting on that ladder!

As it is November I am three years in my house, I know from chatting to some of you on Instagram/snapchat that some of you are dreaming of buying your first/second home and I want to share my top tips for saving up for your deposit for your dream home. 

Let me start off by saying
"Don't let anybody tell you that you can't,
 That you are too young, 
Don't earn enough and won't be able to buy on your own
 because if I can do it so can you",



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My favourite photo editing apps for Instagram and blogging on the go.

Editing your camera phone pics.

Hi everyone!, 
So today I have a fun post and one that I think a lot of you might find useful especially if you love a good snap and are an Instagram addict like myself. 


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Skerries Mills

A tour around Skerries mills

Looking for somewhere fun to visit on the weekends or your day off? I love a good ramble on my day off and love visiting places that give me inspiration.
I was recently watching the news when I seen Skerries had won a tidy town award. I remember visiting Skerries every summer as a kid and I loved the town. I had never visited the mills so we decided to take a drive out to have a peep.
I am a little obsessed with cute cottages and gardens and the mills didn't disappoint.
We done the tour of the mills, it was 6.25 each but you can get a family ticket for 12.50, you can find more info here.

The tour took about an hour and our guide was a fountain of knowledge, I love doing tours and I find them really interesting but there is a fab tea shop too so even if you just want to visit for a cup of tea, on a nice day you can sit outside and take in the view.
On a Saturday there is a market! I work Saturdays so I couldn't visit the market but they also have cute shops in the courtyard.

We then went down the beach and I got the most delicious ice cream from A storm in a tea cup, you might remember this was a little sweet shop as a kid in Skerries. It is the cutest little ice cream shop now and definitely worth a visit.
Have a peep below for loads of pics, the sun was stunning that Sunday and you wouldn't think it was October.

I love rambling on my day off and I am always looking for places to visit and tour, let me know your fave places to visit so I can check them out.
Leave your links and recommendations in the comments below.

Chat soon,
Catherine.

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In the press

Dainty in the press

The last week I got some fab mentions in print media and wanted to share them with you if you missed them, the excitement of going into the shop and coming out with a magazine and seeing your pictures in it! I just want to scream and say "that's me!" 
A huge thank you to Stellar magazine, the Daily mail and Reloved magazine for featuring me.

I will add any more features to this post for you to read.

Chat soon,
Catherine. 


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Octobers orders

Hiya!
Here is a peep at some of the orders from October, lots of them I couldn't share as they are Christmas presents but it was a busy month. 
Some bears went off to a wedding, lots of bears for new babies and as always the memory bears that went off to their new homes to comfort loved ones. 

I am now also taking orders for January so drop me an email and don't forget to check out my other page for more info on the bears.

Let me know your fave?

Thanks for stopping by, 
Catherine. 

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Christmas craft fair, a date for your diary

Christmas fair.


Eeeek, the nerves are gone! But I am almost set for the Christmas fair that I am doing on the 26th and 27th of November in draiocht in Blanchardstown.

I am going to share all of the links to their page so you can check it out, I will have a table at this fair and if you follow me on snapchat you will have seen some of the teddies and hanging hearts I have been making. 


I hope to see you all their, even if you don't pick up one of my items there is tons of really talented crafters also going to the their, I love saying hello and chatting to everyone so please do stop by if you are in Blanchardstown doing your Christmas shopping. 

See you soon,
Catherine. 

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My trip to London

London adventure

This week I took a whole two days off!! No teddy bear making, no work and I headed off to London, I was heading to London to the Amara Interior blog awards where I was a finalist in the DIY and craft  category. 

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Knitting and Stitching event.

A fun evening of Stitching!

On Tuesday I went to a fab evening event which was hosted by Great British sewing bee contestant Angeline Murphy, To launch the return of the knitting and stitching show that will be held in the RDS this October. 

You might remember me going their last year and raiding the fabric stands, they also hold classes and last year I done an embroidery workshop at the show. 

The show is on from 20th to the 23rd of October, I love going on the Thursday but this year I will unfortunately be in London so I am going to try go on the Sunday (please leave some fabric for me! don't buy it all)


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September's orders


Sentimental September

Hiya, September was a really busy month with lots of you getting in early with your orders for Christmas. I just want to share some pictures of some of the teddies, frames and crafty makes from this month. 

I am now booked until December for Christmas orders but don't panic as if I get through orders early I will take more on. 
Click the contact button if you want to place an order or enquire about an order. 

Have a peep below and let me know which crafty make is your favourite?

Thanks again for keeping me busy!
I really appreciate all of your orders. 

Chat soon,
Catherine. 

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Petite Autumn jackets with Dorothy Perkins


Petite jackets for Autumn

I am so excited it is finally Autumn, I am even more excited that I have got my hands on a some coats that will fit me!
My fellow petite ladies will know the struggle is real when trying to find a jacket that fits our smaller frames, You know the struggle! Arms can be too long, shoulders too big and we look like we are wearing our mammy's coat. 

Today I have three jackets from dorothyperkins.com and all are from the petite range but fear not my taller ladies some of the are also available in the normal range. 

Have a scroll below for a peep at the three jackets and hands up who is dying to wear their bobble hat? I have a cute one at the end of the post so scroll down for the link.

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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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