Friday, July 11, 2014

I Love Chalk Paint.

What is it about chalk paint that I love. I love writing on a blackboard. I know that much. It's the whole idea that you can rub it out so easily and start again.

It's kind of like the street artists. I love their work. Chalk is such a lovely medium and so soft to work with.

But if I am being honest it's more like I am back to being 5 again and pretending I am a teacher, writing up their lessons.

So I was in the process of doing up a clients home recently and they needed a notice board so I had come across an article where it mentioned a blackboard paint that was also magnetic. I mentioned it to my clients and they went along, not totally convinced. Black is such a scary colour. I agree but it can work so well. So we painted one small wall in the blackboard paint for them and it was a huge success.

 So when I came to doing up my studio myself I decided I would love somewhere that I could write dates and such up on, so hence the Blackboard. I decided to use a blackboard paint but I knew I wouldn't use the magnetic part so I decided to get normal Blackboard paint.

This is the make I use always. To get a key use sandpaper. Even if you are doing a wall you will need to get a key so use a light sandpaper. Something like 280 is what I used. This is to make sure your paint sticks to the wall. Maybe do a tester before you do a large amount...

It all worked great and I am delighted with the end result. I tried out the chalk pens and just plain chalk and I prefer the normal chalk. It's easier to draw with and if you need a sharp edge just top your chalk.

Black is such a great colour in many ways as it matches almost everything but beware it will darken the room. I was just a little worried when I was doing my studio but it all turned out perfect. What I would suggest is that you pick a small area. One wall or something. 

Here are a few other items that I have been working on. Take a look.
Take a few jars and tape off the area that you want to paint with blackboard paint.

I wanted to do a selection of jars.

These are Dolmio Jars.
Once taped up you need to give the area a paint with All Purpose Primer. This is suitable for glass. I use a waterbased one so you can wash your brushes with water when you are finished.

Leave to dry for an hour or two or as long as the primer says you need to leave it.

When the primer is fully dry then give them a paint of Blackboard paint.

Here is a little tip. When taping up your jars - use a label sticker so that all your jars label areas will be the same size. Once you have a jars taped up take the sticker off and then you paint away. You really need all the areas to end up the same size. Trust me they look wrong if they are all different.

I am currently working on lots of other items to paint with Blackboard paint so I have much to follow.

Do let me see your Pictures of things you have painted with blackboard paint or you can visit my Pinterest page and I have a board called Blackboard designs.

Love and laughs.



Monday, March 17, 2014

Crochet Necklace Part two.

You all loved the Crochet Necklace part one so i knew you would love this. The necklace isn't finished yet but it's getting there.
 Working with Beads that you thread onto the wool and introduce one at a time then to your crochet you can then ad so much to your crochet.
There is lots of different ways to ad beads to the crochet and I have tried a few different techniques and have decided to stay with the top picture where you take one bead at a time and crochet them in. In this design I DC 10 stitches and then pulled up one bead and dc it into the necklace.

Give it a try and let me know how you get on.

I will be back with an update.

Love and Laughs.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Getting Hooked on Hooked Zpagetti.

 As you may have guessed by now. I love to crochet. Anything at all really. Crochet is one of my favourite crafts and I really love to teach it. The idea of the craft going down another generation really makes me smile. Years from now someone might ask the ladies, "where did you learn to crochet"? and they will say something like, " Well I remember the lady but can't remember her name but it was out in the Burren somewhere".
It might go something like that. I just love that.
Recently I came across this T- shirt yarn and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I couldn't find it anywhere in Ireland so if you know where I can get it great.
I had to get it from purple linda crafts in the uk. 
Check out their website and have a look but the delivery cost was alot to Ireland so I would love to buy it local if I could.

This rug was a pattern that I got from
She has also some great tips. If I was to do one the next time I would use a smaller hook as she suggests.
I used a 12mm hook like they suggest with the T- Shirt yarn.
Next time I think I would use an 8 or a 10.

 The rug I will use in my guest room and its super soft. I can't wait to use it for a scarf or something like that.
I trimmed it with the pink design and I just love it.
I know any crocheter will just love making these.

Look forward to seeing some created at the crochet group.

Now running every Wednesday and Thursday night at 8.30.

If you have any patterns for the Hooked Zpagetti let us know.

Love and Laughs.


Nationwide at Ennis Creative Arts Centre.

So the day finally came. Nationwide was coming to Ennis Creative Arts Centre. For those of you not from Ireland that's a TV programme that's on RTE which is a channel here in Ireland. Nationwide is a programme that comes on at around 7.30 in the evening and they show crafts, designers, art and lots of great interesting topics.

Its a programme that has always been on in my house and I always hoped that some day they would come and do a feature on ECAC. Well the day had come.

We had been planning this day for months to be honest. They had told me back in 2013 that they were coming so we started one Almighty clean up and a list as long as our arms of things that we wanted to do. Unfortunately between running out of time, Lack of funds and me falling and really hurting myself, we didn't get what we wanted done but to be honest, it didn't matter. I was delighted they were coming. I knew it would all be fine.

They were so nice to deal with over the phone that I knew it would all work out. So the day was upon us. the 1st March 2014. They had chosen a few classes that they wanted to cover and they had also gone through lots and lost of students who had set up business's and they had picked out ones that they felt would work with the piece.

I wanted to have everyone here. What a programme we could make if we had everyone here that ever came to a class. Wow now there is a programme.

So the camera man and reporter arrived and we immediately got started. They started off with some shots of outside and then we did a bit about Bridget's (Bailey Tomlin wearable art/ millinery) class.
Bridget did a bit of a demo and we had some students here for the filming.
Everyone was nervous but I think we all did a great job.
This was Bridget doing the demo. Anyone that has ever been to one of Bridget's class knows what I mean when I say - you could listen to Bridget all day.

After Bridget they did a feature on Krystyna Pomeroy and her Papier Mache Hens. Krystyna also teaches the "How not to be afraid of your sewing machine" workshop here at ECAC which is one of our most popular classes.
While all this was going on we had a full house of people either there to be students for the filming or they were waiting to be interviewed. We had a big group of ladies there on the day and the kettle was on constant boil and everyone got a bite to eat.
Here is Mary and Sharon waiting for round two of their TV debut. I was calling them the Shreddie ladies. Don't mind me I think it's really cool. These two ladies just learnt to crochet before Christmas. Look at their work. Isn't it fab.
The kitchen was full that day. It was just great.
Everyone helped out. xx
After Krystyna Pomeroy they then did a feature on Lilies and Pearls and Ann Maries class here on Cake Decorating at ECAC. They then did an interview with Ann Marie and her new range of Buttercreams. Ann Marie had some beautiful work with her to show the camera.
While Ann Marie was doing the feature on her class they told us to get the 4 ladies who had business's and who had attended ECAC to upskill or learn a new craft to set up their wares. We did this in our conservatory and it worked really well.
The light was just lovely and it just worked perfectly. Here is Nicola Brown bringing in her felted pieces.
Here is Amanda Byrne and Liga Liva setting up also. Liga has a polymer clay jewellery business and Amanda has a Millinery business selling Cloche hats.
The displays were beautiful. You would know the ladies had done this before.
Finally they interviewed Sharon Murphy of The Bead and Button Emporium.
Sharon makes polymer clay beads and buttons and here you can see she has launched a new range of stitch markers.

Finally it was my turn to sit in front of the camera. I have no idea what I said to be honest. I may have made a complete haims of it but anyway I hope it came across someway right.
So now after all that - all we need do is wait for the date which it will air. I am sure there will be a good few nervous ladies around that day. Anyway I gotta say well done everyone. It was a credit to us really and thanks so much to everyone who helped me. I really really appreciate it. From the cakes to the Garlic Potatoes to the chocolate biscuit cakes to the offers of cleaning, (which I didn't take but it was tempting), - what I want to say is THANK YOU.........

I am super proud to be honest and even if I come across like a complete god only knows what.......

I am still so happy that I got here.

Running ECAC is just so rewarding and I just LOVE MY JOB.

Thanks folks.

Cheers and hopefully we have many more years to go.

Love and Laughs.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Vintage Cloche Hat with Highbury Designs on the 15th and 16th Feb 2014.

Introducing a new workshop to ECAC can be a daunting experience. My aim here at ECAC is to find wonderful classes, sometimes a bit wild and wonderful but things that perhaps people would have have heard of. You are taking a big chance that the class will fill. The glory about us here is our classes are small anyway. We never take more then 8 in any class.

So a few months back at the Nicola Brown Wet Felting workshop Nicola mentioned a wonderful girl called Amanda Byrne and I should contact her. So I did. 

Amanda is a darling and we arranged a class that would take place about 4 months later in Feb 2014. 
As usual the time just flew by and the weekend of the 15th and 16th was just upon us. I was super excited to make a hat that I would wear in the winter on a daily basis. I love hats and just adored these designs so couldn't wait to make my own.

Eventually the morning came for the class and Amanda Arrived with all her goodies...
We had a wonderful selection of colours to choose from. I had initially thought I would go for Navy but after trying on the colours I knew I would have to go for Pink. We all had so much fun even doing this part. WE were like a group of women in a changing room together commenting on how you looked in that colour..."Oh no, you have to go for the purple it's perfect on you. It suits your eyes and sure haven't you got purple glasses". You can see us now..

We learnt lots of new terms and phrases as many of the ladies had never made a hat before. Each hat immediately started taking on its own design between choosing the colour felt and the Peter Sham, (which i just learnt was the ribbon).
The class was set up and we were ready to go..
Paper and pencils were at the ready..

Then we were introduced to the star of the show. The vintage hat block. There was many hat blocks to choose from but we all seemed to focus in on a few of same ones which worked out fine..

Amanda was a wonderful tutor. So forth coming with her information and also very patient.
Let the fun begin...

Having some fun with the Felt...
After the first day we had to leave the hats to dry until the following day.
Imelda one of the ladies attending the class doing some hand stitching in the conservatory.
I just love this hat made by one of the students. Each of our personalities shone through the hat we had just created.
With my own hat I had of course to add a piece of crochet.
The flower embellishment I had made a few months previous at the Wet felting workshop with Nicola Brown.

 Love this hat on Mags. She was so proud of her Hat.
 While at the class Amanda asked us to be a bit creative with the felt and this is what Imelda made. Isn't it wonderful.
 Imelda's hat turned out wonderful. She is looking forward to making another hat at the next workshop.

 I just love Brids hat and the Pink and Red together. Isn't this beautiful on her.
Its a colour that would suit so much.
So that's about it really. We had great fun over the two days. Keep a look out for the next Workshop in Millinery on the 2nd March with Bridget Bailey Tomlin and also a workshop on the 5th April with Lina Stein.

So folks that's it really. If you would like to come along to the next Cloche two day workshop let us know and email us today on

Love and Laughs.