seasonal florals

For a slightly different take on the vintage floral pattern, here are 2 new fabrics, inspired by the cold dark winter days ending and hopefully some bright sunny days on the way.
A girl can dream : )

Available in cushion covers and napkins which you can buy online at my Etsy store.

And just to let you know that I will be expanding my fabrics into some other new and exciting interior products soon! Watch this space!

handmade by me.

Pretty proteas

I must be feeling sentimental…or it was the gorgeous bunch of proteas I was eyeing out, but couldn’t afford to buy, in M&S the other day. Anyways they’re so beautiful and remind me of home…how could I resist being inspired?

Now available in cushion covers and napkins at my Etsy store.

handmade by me.

indigo blue…

I love indigo designs on white, especially in the style of 17th century chinese porcelain and delftware. Even though my design is a little different, it still creates a similar feel to it.

Introducing the latest of my collection, indigo blue, … available in cushion covers and napkins online at my Etsy store.

If you would like me to create something different specially for you please get in touch!

handmade by me.

Lentil and Vegetable Soup with Bacon

I made up the recipe for this soup combining bits of various other lentil or lentil and bacon soup recipes and I must say I think it is pretty damn good!! Just remember to soak the lentils overnight. I put them out into a bowl of water before I leave for work and they’re ready by the time I get home. Don’t worry if you forget, it just means your soup will take a little longer to cook.

If there are any requests for any specific soup recipes or you are looking for a recipe for a soup with a specific ingredient please let me know and I will see what i can do : )

The Recipe: Lentil and vegetable soup with bacon
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, diced
2 courgettes, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
1 brown onion, finely chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 cups vegetable stock
250g brown lentils, soaked overnight
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Method
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry the chopped bacon until the fat begins to run. Add carrots, courgettes, celery and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add the lentils, cook for a few more minutes until they are mixed in well. Add tomatoes and stock to pan. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, for around 45 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are soft.

Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Are you square….?

I was recently commissioned by my friend Nic to design her a new fabric to recover two of her cushions actually belong to her two gorgeous doggies, shangdi and teddy. As the cushions are for her, her boyfriend and the two boy dogs I thought I should go with something a little more masculine while keeping in line with their red, black and cream feel of their sitting room.

All available as cushion covers and napkins at my Etsy store.

I had actually originally started working on this design with a more pinkish colour in mind…

And in keeping in with my (very unplanned) vintage themed week I have transformed these two designs into something a little more vintage inspired… Which do you prefer?

handmade by me.

Merchant & Mills Sewing Notions Set – Kaufmann Mercantile Store

I don’t often blog about things that I didn’t make….but I absolutely couldn’t resist! Besides this is a pretty good exception considering this blog is all about sewing and making things. Oh how I dream of owning this sewing kit. It would also really go so well with my gorgeous 1960s wooden sewing box my lovely fiance gave me for christmas. (SIGH).

Don’t you agree….?

You can buy it from the link below for my birthday in April (hint hint barry : ))

Merchant & Mills Sewing Notions Set – Kaufmann Mercantile Store.

No monday blues round here…

A new vintage inspired floral design I came up with to brighten up those monday (or any other day) blues. Available in cushion covers and napkins at my Etsy store.

handmade by me.

awesome autumn minestrone soup (even though it’s winter)

This soup has a pile of ingredients in it but it is oh so worth every one!!! I got this recipe off jamie oliver’s website and have simplified it quite a lot otherwise you’d be there cooking all day : ) If you want to grow your own beans, and cook them for an extra half an hour, and add some more ingredients to the list, feel free to use his original recipe….or….for anyone with no time on their hands and the desire to create the perfect 1 pot meal here ya go….

The Recipe: Autumn Minestrone Soup
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 400g tin cannellini beans
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
4 rashers smoked pancetta or bacon, preferably free-range or organic
2 small red onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
½ a head of fennel, chopped (if you can’t find fennel crush 1 tsp of fennel seeds…don’t leave it out!)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
a small bunch of fresh basil, leaves and stalks separated
2 x 400g tins of good-quality plum tomatoes
a glass of red wine
2 small courgettes, quartered and sliced
200g baby spinach, washed and roughly sliced (including stalks)
565ml chicken, ham or vegetable stock, preferably organic
55g dried pasta (I used spelt pasta which is great if you want something wheat-free)
a block of Parmesan cheese, to serve

Method:
To make your soffrito, heat a good splash of olive oil in a saucepan and add the chopped pancetta or bacon, onions, carrots, celery, fennel, garlic and the finely sliced basil stalks. Sweat very slowly on a low heat, with the lid just ajar, for around 15 to 20 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add the tomatoes, courgettes and red wine and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Now add the spinach, stock and beans. Put the dried pasta into a polythene bag, squeeze all the air out and tie the end up. Bash gently with a rolling pin to break the pasta into pieces. Snip the end off the bag and empty the contents into the soup. Stir and continue to simmer until the pasta is cooked.

If you think the soup is looking too thick, add a little more stock or some of the reserved cooking water to thin it down a bit. Then taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the torn-up basil leaves and with some extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top. Put a block of Parmesan and a grater on the table for everyone to help themselves. Heaven!

Be my valentine…

Alot of Valentines Day related things can be pretty tacky!! Well not in my world if i can help it!! Designist (a really gorgeous interiors shop on Georges St in Dublin) were looking for locally produced designs to make into Valentines Day cards to sell in their shop. I submitted the design below and it was chosen alongside a few others to be printed. So if you’re looking for something a little unusual created by local talent this Valentine’s Day you should have a look in Designist. Each card comes with a choice of plain white, or a recycled map envelope. They cost 3 Euro each.

I must say I have really come to love this pattern, and so have decided to develop it into napkins. It would certainly make for a very sweet gift! Buy them now here at the handmade by me store on Etsy.com

Here is my design…

And here is the card printed…

handmade by me.

space rocket solar system go go go…

My friend Kerry came to me with a request from her very fussy 5 year old. He wanted space rocket solar system curtains for his new room and there was just nothing available that he liked. So I got to work on designing something for him, and this is what I came up with.

Apparently Conor is delighted with the design and so I have sent it off to be printed! As soon as the curtains are up and ready I’ll post a pic of them in his new room!

Handmade by me.