DIY leaf bowl, Autumn craft idea


DIY leaf trinket dish 


I took some inspiration from nature and decided to use the falling leaves in my garden for a DIY project. Using some air drying clay, I made my very own leaf trinket dishes. I got my inspiration from a trinket dish I got in Heatons last year. I loved it but I couldn't find anymore in the shop so I decided to make my own leaf trinket dish instead. This is a really fun Autumn afternoon DIY. The only time-consuming part of this DIY is allowing time for the clay to dry. You can get really creative and use different size leaves and different coloured paints to make a trinket dish to suit your own personal style. I also have a Youtube video showing you how I made these and I will link it here for you to enjoy.


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My tips for buying the perfect sofa with DFS


How to buy a sofa

*This is a sponsored collaboration with DFS

Buying a sofa is one of the biggest purchases you will make for your home. It is also one of the more expensive pieces of furniture you will buy. It can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to choosing the perfect sofa to fit your space and lifestyle. I have teamed up with DFS for today's post as I am upgrading my old second-hand sofas and getting some new sofas that will better suit my living room space. As I have never purchased a sofa before I didn't know where to start. I also didn't want to make an expensive mistake as I know some people can get the measurements wrong. As you guys know I am a huge fan of upcycling furniture for my home. I have a set of second-hand couches in my living room for the past five years. I want to upgrade them as they are too large for my living room. I want to get new sofas that will better fit my space. So, the lovely Lisa, a sofa expert in the DFS store in Blanchardstown kindly let me pick her brains and answered all my sofa buying questions. Below I have some tips for picking the perfect sofa, so whether you are a sofa buying newbie or you want to upgrade then I hope you will find these tips useful.


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Solo travelling in Lisbon


Where I stayed and where I explored 


I  got home in the early hours of yesterday morning and I wanted to share with you solo travel experience of the charming city of Lisbon. In this post, I am going to share all of the pretty places that I explored. If you are a fellow solo travelling female and looking for a fun city to explore than I recommend this city. I thankfully had no issues and I found the local people really friendly and polite. I found the public transport easy to navigate around and I found some amazing places to explore. I also have put together a Vlog if you want to check it out and you can see the beautiful city of Lisbon for yourself. 

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DIY wrap dress, Simplicity 8608

                                                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                                    *This is a sponsored collaboration with Hickeys Homefocus

Diy wrap dress with Hickey's fabrics | *Ad


I have achieved my goal to make my very own dress unsupervised and I am buzzing. You might remember last year when I made a dress with Angeline Murphy. I wanted to tackle making a dress by myself and see if I could follow a pattern myself. I teamed up with the guys ay Hickeys for today's post and I used the simplicity 8608 patterns for this project. I love working with the team in Hickeys as I am learning new skills with each project. I learned a lot with this dress pattern, I inserted my first dart, added flounces, inserted pockets and I stitched a lot of narrow hems. You can catch my Youtube video here and see in more detail how I made my dress. 


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Craft night, DIY teacup candles


Teacup candle DIY


Hands up who loves a good craft evening. My work buddies and I were chatting about a craft evening for Autumn as the dark nights can be so long. We had a shot at making some teacup candles as this has been on my to-do list for ages. These were actually easier than I expected and I am quite impressed with our first attempt at them. I have put together a Vlog which you can catch here and follow us along and see how we made them. I will also pop in some details and pictures of how we made them below. This is a great DIY for reusing old china as once the candles burn through you can remove any wax and make them again. 

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Cosy Autumn Lookbook


*This is a sponsored collaboration with Marks & Spencer and shopping links

Sweater season with Marks and Spencer


I am finally getting that Autumn feeling, I am seeing the leaves falling and the nights are drawing in. I have noticed that the mornings and evenings are getting cooler and I even had the heating back on! So, I thought I would share some pieces that will keep you cosy but cute for the rest of the Autumn season. I picked up pieces that are hero pieces for your wardrobe and these will last all season long, I teamed some knitwear pieces with skirts that are in nice pastel and berry shades. I do love Autumn but I like to add some lighter shades to my wardrobe for the season.  I love the quality of the Marks and Spencer clothing so I invest in pieces that I can get a lot of wear out of.  I have been wearing the pieces from my last few posts featuring marks and Spencer and I can vouch for the quality and they are wearing well. 

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How to make a memory cushion, easy sew no zips


Sentimental sewing 


In this post, I am showing you how to turn an old shirt into a memory cushion. I used to make these for people a few years ago but I am no longer able to make these so I decided to share a video and show you how you can make your own. These make amazing presents for people and I used to love seeing peoples reaction when they would get a memory cushion that I had made. You can use clothing from loved ones that have passed or simply recycle old clothes to make a cushion. You might remember my previous easy cushion making blog post, you can catch it here. I am following the same steps and this will be an easy sew with no zips. You can also check out my video here to get a better idea at how I made the cushion. 



What you will need 


If you are a beginner then I recommend starting with cotton/poly shirts. These have less stretch and are easier to start with. If you want to use a knit or stretch fabric then you can iron on some interfacing to stop it from stretching. 

- Fabric scissors
- Pins
- Thread in a matching colour to your fabric
- Paper to make a template/pattern
- Cushion pad in the size you want to make
- A good iron




Make a template 


I find it easier to make myself a template. In today's post, I made a 16x16 inch cushion. If you make yourself a template then you can easily take it out whenever you want to make some cushions. It also makes it easier when you are making a few cushions at one time. Depending on the amount of fabric that you have you can adjust your pattern to make it smaller or larger. You will have a front and a back template for this project. For the front of the cushion, you will need to to make a 16x16 inch template. However, you need to allow for a 1inch seam allowance so you will need to measure out 17x17 inches on your paper. For the back template, you will need to measure out 17 x14 inches. You can adjust the measurements accordingly. 



Cutting your fabric 


Cutting your fabric is just as important as sewing your fabric so please take your time. With old clothing, I cut along the seams and I separate the front panels from the back panels. Iron your fabric before cutting it, having crease free fabric will make it easier to cut out your template. Pin your template to your fabric. You will cut one piece for your front and then two pieces for the back. Your back has two pieces as they overlap giving the envelope shape to your cushion. You want to cut the fabric as straight as you can to make it easier for when you are sewing. 



Sew a hem onto your two back panels and add a stitch to front


You are now going to sew a 1-inch hem onto your two back pieces. These two pieces need a hem so the fabric won't fray on you. Using your iron, fold over half an inch and press. You can use your measuring tape as a guide. Once you have ironed your half an inch you are then going to fold it over again and press. Depending on the fabric you may need to secure it with some pins. Using your sewing machine you will then sew a straight stitch down the hem of your fabric. Start with a reverse stitch to secure your stitch and stop it coming loose. I have put together a Youtube video which I will link below if you want to have a look at how I did this. 

I added a stitch down the front of the shirt panel to stop it from gapping. If you skip this step your shirt cushion will pull open when you insert your cushion pad. Sewing a stitch down the existing hem will make sure your cushion holds its shape. 




Put your cushion together


You are now going to sew all three of your pieces together and form your cushion. The most important thing here is to make sure you face the right sides of your fabric face together. I place my front piece down on the patterned side of the fabric facing me. I then lay a back piece of fabric to the front making sure the two patterned sides are facing each other. I then add the third piece and I pin the fabric together. I use a lot of pins to make sure the fabric stays in place when I am sewing. Place your pins facing outwards as this means you can sew over them. Allow for a 1-inch seam allowance and sew all around your cushion on your machine and use a reverse stitch to keep your stitches in place. Once your cushion is sewn together you can clip the corners and turn it right side out. You can give it a final iron and insert a cushion pad. Your cushion is now ready to give as a present or to keep for yourself and style in your home. 





If you are nervous about trying to make one of these cushions then check out Etsy, I found some sellers below that make these to order.


I hope you enjoyed today's post. If you are new to sewing and nervous about cutting items of clothing that are sentimental then practise on some scrap fabric and build up your confidence. These are such a great item to make. You can also catch my hanging heart tutorial and make some hearts from the scrap pieces of fabric. If you don't have enough fabric to make a sentimental cushion then why not make a hanging heart. Let me know if you have a go at making these and don't forget to check out my video

Thanks for reading, 
Chat Soon,
Catherine. 




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*Some of links in the blog post are reward style affiliate links. You will not pay any more for your purchase however, I will receive a small commission (€1-€5) if you decide to purchase. Affiliate links are a source of income that helps to keep my blog running. Thank you so much for your continued support.



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DIY Bath Caddy


Make your own bathtub organiser 


You might have seen my recent budget bathroom makeover. Well, I was admiring peoples bathtub caddies and I wanted to make one for myself. I have some planks of wood in my garden from when I had my Velux installed earlier in the year. like a true crafter, I didn't want to throw the pieces of wood out in case I could use them in a project. I decided to use some of the wood in today's post to make my very own bath caddy. This was easier than expected and I also got to use my new drill! Which made me feel very empowered. 


Measure twice and cut once


The first thing I did was measure out how wide my bathtub was. I then marked the wood and used my saw to cut the wood to size. I also measured where I wanted the two smaller pieces of wood for the underneath. These underneath pieces of wood stop the caddy from slipping and sliding off your bathtub. I used a saw that I had in my shed to cut the wood. If you have an electric saw or jigsaw then this would be easier to use. As with all power tools, please be cautious and if you are not confident then ask someone to help you or get a pro to cut the wood for you. 


Once my wood was cut to size I used some Gorilla glue to glue the small pieces of wood to the underneath of the larger piece. I used glue because my wood was really thick and I didn't have a nail long enough to drill it together. You can use a drill if you have one.




My wood was really rough to touch, so, I used some coarse sandpaper to smooth the surface. I have a palm electric sander and I used it to smooth out the wood. I started with a coarse grit sandpaper and then finished it with a lighter grade sane paper to make it extra silky smooth. You can have a look at my Youtube video and watch how I sanded the piece. 


 Whitewashing my piece


I loved the character of the wood and I didn't want to hide it, so I decided to whitewash the piece with some watered down chalk paint.  I made a paint that was half water and half chalk paint. I then used a brush to apply it to my piece of wood. I let it sit for a few minutes and then using a dry rag I wiped the paint away and brought out the details of the wood.  It took me a few goes to get the effect I wanted but I am really pleased with how it turned out. As the wood gets really wet please allow extra drying time before sealing your project. If you don't allow your piece to fully dry it may develop some mould which you don't want. So leave it for a few hours to fully dry. 



I then used some Polyutherine spray sealer that I had in my kit to seal my piece. As this is going into the bathroom, you want to protect it from moisture. This sealer does have a strong smell so I recommend that you use it outside and allow it to fully dry. Once the piece is fully dry it will be wipeable and protected. 


Adding some details 


 I did go looking for some nice handles but I couldn't find any. When rummaging in TK Maxx I found these knobs. They came in a pack of 6 for only €9.99. I used my drill to add some holes to the corners of my caddy. I then added my fancy knobs to make my piece easy to carry and move when in the bathtub. You can also use some glue to apply your knobs, as my piece was heavy I decided to drill mine in. 






Once you are finished an happy with your piece you can then have fun and style it. I purposely didn't get a stand for my phone as for me, a bath is a phone free zone. I got a cute love heart wicker basket from The Range. I added some of my bath time faves to the basket so I could enjoy my soak. A cheeky glass of bubbles is optional for your bath time but its perfect for unwinding, I went for some tea instead and used one of my Royal Alberts to style the tray.







Please do check out my video on how I made my bath caddy and if you enjoyed it then please give it a thumbs up. If you want to see my budget bathroom makeover then check out the post here. Have a great week everyone! 



Thanks so much for reading,
Chat soon,
Catherine.


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Autumn decor Haul 2018

*affiliate links

Autumn decor and styling 


This week I started to take the Autumn trinkets out of storage and started to style them in my home. I noticed the weather changing here this week. The evenings are starting to get a little darker and I noticed the Autumn berries appearing on my tree in the back garden. Each season has its own magic and I love Autumn for the golden colour and cosy feeling it brings. I have a new Youtube video which I link below where you can see the items I bought to make my home a bit more cosy as we transition into Autumn. 

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My budget small bathroom makeover


Small space makeover on a budget 


Over the past few weeks, I have been tackling some DIY jobs within my small bathroom. I had a really small budget for this makeover and I had to work with what I had. I changed my bath panel, added a new toilet seat, I added some shelving and I gave it a fresh lick of paint to give it a new look. I also tackled some of the ugly jobs, like removing mouldy seals on my bathtub and shower door. All of these jobs added up and I am so pleased with how my bathroom is looking. I would love to change my tiles but unfortunately, I just don't have the budget for that this year so I worked with the tiles I have and decorated around them to compliment what I already had. I also killed off the last of the magnolia walls, this was the last room in my home that had ugly magnolia on the walls. I am sorry if you are a magnolia fan, I stupidly painted the whole house with cheap Magnolia paint when I moved in a few years ago and I have spent that past five years trying to get rid off all the Magnolia rooms. I am pleased to say I am now rid of it lol. I also have a Youtube video sharing my finished bathroom. 


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Homeware Haul 2018, Ikea and Homesense haul


Homeware haul time 


It has been ages since I had a good ramble around the shops. I won't lie, I am not a fan of wandering the shops, I think it is because I work in retail that it kills me to spend my spare time traipsing around busy shops. I have been working on my bathroom the past few weeks and I was lacking inspiration. When I get stuck for interior inspiration I like to visit some homeware shops and get ideas from their displays. I was also looking for some new trinkets for the bathroom so I went to my old reliable shops that are Homesense and Ikea. In today's post, I will share what I picked up and I also have a Youtube video which I will link below. 

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Transitional Autumn outfits with Marks and Spencer

*This is a sponsored collaboration with Marks & Spencer and shopping links

Late Summer and Early Autumn styling


Hands up who is excited for Autumn? We have been having amazing weather this Summer but I can start to see the very early signs of Autumn and it is making me excited. You will have noticed that a lot of the shops on the high street are showcasing their new collections. It is that awkward in-between time of the seasons. For me personally, I want to spend my money on pieces that will work well for now and for the season ahead. I don't want to waste money on pieces that I will only get a few weeks of wear from them. I am also more conscious of fast fashion and I want to wear more and buy less when it comes to my wardrobe. I have teamed up again with Marks and Spencer to show you three looks that you can wear now and also for the season ahead. I recently wore these items on my trip to France and I was really impressed with the quality and the fit. I picked items that could be styled with tights and ankle boots for when it gets cooler around October time. 

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Provence travel guide


The beautiful French countryside


I am just back from an amazing trip around Provence. This was a dream come true for me as it has been on my bucket list for ages. I would admire the quaint villages on Pinterest and long to go and see them. I loved every minute of the trip and I will share where we stayed, how we travelled around and some of the cute villages we passed through. We travelled through some amazing villages like Valensole, Gordes and Forcalquier and explored the largers towns like Avignon and Aix en Provence. You will find all the detaila and lots of pictures below for you to enjoy. 

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Bathroom update, replacing my bath panel


Bathroom refresh Part 1 


This week I have started to tackle some jobs in my downstairs bathroom. Bathrooms can be really expensive so I am tackling some jobs myself to save on costs. In today's post, I am sharing how I changed my bath panel, toilet seat and shower door seal. I still have some jobs left to do in the bathroom but I thought I would share what I have done so far. A lot of the pieces in the bathroom are there from when I first moved in. I had an ugly broken plastic bath panel, a plastic toilet seat and some mouldy shower seals. Changing these have already made it look cleaner and I can't wait to tackle the rest of the decorating. 

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Master Bedroom Tour | Video


A look around my master bedroom 


Hi everyone, I have had a few requests for a master bedroom tour video and I have finally put one together. I still have some pieces of furniture in the room that I want to paint and upcycle but overall I am happy with how my room is looking at the moment. I will make sure to leave the Youtube video below and link it here for you to check out. I also have a house tour playlist on my Youtube channel where you can check out my other rooms. 



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DIY flower bouquet box


Reuse some old gift boxes and make your own flower bouquet box 


I am always collecting tea sets and these tea sets always come in the prettiest of boxes. I hate to throw these in the bin so I decided to reuse them and turn them into pretty flower display boxes. You might have seen these pretty flower boxes on Instagram or Pinterest. They are really popular but they can be really expensive to buy from the florists. In today's post, I am going to show you how to make both bouquet boxes using both real and faux flowers. These were much easier to make than I expected. I also used some real flowers from Aldi which kept the costs down. I also have a Youtube video which will give you a better idea of how I made these flower boxes. These are really quick make and you would easily make these in an afternoon.


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DIY Teacup Bird Feeders


Create a cute teacup bird feeder


As some of you might know, I am a teacup hoarder. When people are throwing tea sets out I just cannot say no and I have to rescue them. This leaves me with a large amount of mismatched and odd china and nowhere to store it. I am always looking for ways that I can re-use china teacups and a really popular DIY online is the teacup bird feeder. I already feed the wild birds but I wanted to make a pretty display for my garden. I used an old palette that I had in the garden and I made a cute teacup bird feeding station. In today's post, I will show you how I made my teacup feeders and assembled my feeding station. I also have a Youtube video sharing how I made these and I will link it below or you to check out. 


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