Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year 2012

As this year ends and a new year dawns, remember to kick off your shoes and dance like there is no one watching, leave your burdens behind, craft, create, and dare to dream, know that you deserve your happiness, and dont be afraid to live in the moment.

Your life is yours to live.

Love, Peace, and Happiness in 2012,


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas one and all.

Big hugs,


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Seasons Greetings

I hope the joys of the season are with you all. I hope to visit all my favourite blogs in the next few days. I have missed visiting you all.
So much has happened since I last posted. November brought the death of my Godfather, Uncle Mick, an incredible man who had an amazing life. A book on his life will soon be published, I am so sad he did not get to see it published. My poor Dad has lost his youngest and his eldest brother this year.
I hope December finds you all well.

Big hugs,


Friday, November 4, 2011

November blue and green

Blue is my favourite colour, I love cornflower blue and this wreath with cornflowers and daisies (marguerites) hangs over the mantle piece in the living room.

Mr. Margie has been busy in the garden and the forest in the last few weeks, and with the rainfall we have been having he never goes out without his wax hat.

The cape cod style bathroom at Chez Margie, sports some Margie's Crafts custom made (recycled fabric) cushion covers. I just love white lace ribbon.

The living room door is festooned by a curtain with lace edging and the blue chair is one of a pair ( a gift from Mr. Margie in the last few years). I love how candle light sets the ambiance in the evenings.

What's your favourite colour this month?

Big hugs,


Monday, October 31, 2011

Is there room on the broom?

May the blessings of Samhain light up your life.

Big hugs,


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Oiche Samhain

I have the apples and nuts at the ready for the Púca (Celtic fairy folklore creatures, who arrive after dark). As a child, my sisters, cousins and I, we went from house to house with a carved turnip, we wore capes or large coats, and sang old Irish songs or recited poetry. My mother made a Barm Brack, a dried fruit bread which contained various objects baked into the bread and was used as a sort of fortune telling game. In the barmbrack were: a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin (originally a silver sixpence) and a ring. The bread was sliced and each item, when received in the slice, was supposed to carry a meaning to the person concerned: the pea, the person would not marry that year; the stick, "to beat one's wife with", would have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes; the cloth or rag, would have bad luck or be poor; the coin, would enjoy good fortune or be rich; and the ring, would be wed within the year. We played "bobbing" in a basin of water for apples or coins. A game whereby you were only allowed to use your mouth, your hands had to be placed behind your back. We usually finished off the evening telling ghost stories.

Now most people here in Ireland celebrate Halloween, wearing masks and costumes, children go on "trick or treat" visits. The turnips have been replaced by pumpkins (much easier to carve) and the Barm brack only contains a ring.

Whether you celebrate Samhain or Halloween, have a great one!

Big hugs,


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Knitting projects 2

I am still knitting the aran baby blanket, in moss stitch, it is so big now that I get very warm when I am working on it. The Aran is undyed, unwashed and smells like outdoors.

Leiny knit these fingerless mitts last winter. She knit a pair of mitts that can be converted to fingerless gloves by pulling the flap back and securing it on a button (will put photos in another post) for me in red and I love wearing them.

I bought these hanks of Araucania hand dyed wool at the Knitting and Stitching show last year, I have yet to find a pattern to begin a project with them. I thought about knitting cushion covers, a hat and scarf, a chunky cardi, but I still do not know yet. What do you think? Any ideas?

Big hugs,


Saturday, October 15, 2011

A trip to the woods with Mimi and Mathilde

Mimi and Mathilde, our two black nine year old labs, love to go for a walk in the woods behind our house. They are always eager to get out for a long run and do some dog orienteering, whatever the weather. As soon as I take their leads off they are ready for action. I love how their coats shine in the sun.

Autumn is a particularly lovely time in the woods, fallen leaves and moss make a lovely carpet, but the peace and tranquility of the moment is lost as soon as Mimi comes thundering along the path.

These dry ditches are perfect for long jump practice, but are more like steeplechase jumps when it rains. Mathilde leaps up, with incredible speed and strength.

The jump can be made even more exciting by repeatedly jumping over and back, stretching the back legs out and reaching towards the on coming bank with the front paws.

A good search around under trees satisfies their curiousity too.

Even after an hour of manic running and jumping, they dont seem at all tired. They both take off along the paths back home at a rapid pace, as soon as I give the command, leaving me trailing along behind. Every now and then Mimi looks back to make sure I am still behind. Mathilde will come back to walk along beside me for a few moments waiting for the command to run ahead and join Mimi. I put them both back on the leash until we are back home.

Big hugs


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Autumn harvest and knitting

This beautiful hollyhock has been flowering for weeks, and is visible from the kitchen window. I love that rich colour.

I harvested the last of the grapes from the greenhouse, they are small but so sweet and juicy.

I had to attend college last weekend, and stayed over at a really beautiful Bed and Breakfast, Samuel's Heritage in Waterford. I had apple pie and tea on arrival, and a wonderful fresh local produce breakfast next morning. I really enjoyed the hospitality, the view, the peace and tranquility, and I slept really well. Susan, the owner and hostess, was very friendly and helpful. I even managed to finish my Sublime organic merino dk cardi, I just love the colour and the softness. Now all I have to do is press it out and find the right button. I am thinking a wooden hand made one would be good. Any ideas?

Big hugs,


Monday, September 26, 2011

Knitting projects

My project this summer was based on a little summer jumper I made for Mel twenty seven years ago. I knit her a little white jumper with a red and yellow stripe, she was so cute wearing it under her Levi's dungarees. I wanted to make Isla something similar. I purchased some wool at Lidl, and could not find a pattern.

My mum always says that "necessity is the mother of invention" so taking her advice, I made my own pattern, guessing the size, and finding the challenge easier than I had expected. In a couple of hours I had finished this stripe jumper, choosing a button for the back closing and sewing it up just in time for our visit to Belgium.

Isla looked so cute wearing it, I could see where I will have to tweak some of the pattern, but overall I am quite pleased with my efforts.

I made a Denis the Menace hat for my little friend James a few weeks ago, and I also completed a Debbie Bliss baby kimono that was on the needles for almost three years. There is great satisfaction in completing a project.

I still have two other projects on the needles. The Aran blanket (two years on the needles and getting longer each month), a sublime oatmeal (organic merino wool) cardi for myself, I will have to complete them before the Knitting and Stitching show (Dublin) 10th-14th November so I can shop for new projects. I will be volunteering at the Knit 1 Pass it on stand again this year.

What do you have on your needles at the moment?

Big hugs,


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Autumn wedding

Mr. Margie and I attended Seun and Daniel's wedding yesterday at the Victory centre in Dublin. The sun was shining (a rare occurance this year), the newly wed couple looked absolutely beautiful. I wore my "Coast" dress, with a "Micheal H" fascinator, and a "Primark/Penneys" coat. I was pleased to meet so many of Mr. Margie's work colleagues, all of whom made me feel so welcome.

Earlier this week I met Jonnet Middleton at her "Future menders" exhibit during the Fringe Festival in Dublin. I spent a pleasant half hour darning with her while she was interviewed by International journalists. I also met Sheila from the Crafts Council of Ireland, a felt maker and mender. It was a real pleasure to listen to Jonnet's philosophy, she has not bought anything for the last three years and believes in mending and making do. She is inspired by her 94 year old grandmother. She took 500 knitted pandas to china earlier this year as a guest of the Chinese government and presented them to an orphanage, click here to see a video of her panda project.

What are your thoughts on mending?

Big hugs,


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apple Harvest

Apple harvesting is so satisfying, filling the baskets with different varieties of home grown apples.
The apples in the basket on the left are a variety called Discovery, they are an early soft apple, with a slightly acidic taste, they should be treated like a soft fruit. The ones in the basket on the right are the James Grieve variety, these ones store better and in fact taste better a few weeks after harvest.

Big hugs,


Friday, September 16, 2011

Karen, you are my Inspiration

While on holiday in Mallorca (Majorca) I did some crochet at the beach, because I was inspired by Karen at Karenskrafts , she did some crochet on the beach earlier this year.

I love her blogs and every visit yields some new inspiration as her creativity is incredible, the colours, fabrics, wool, food, all intersting and exciting.The finished pieces are truly works of art.

I do not know what the crochet I started will evolve in to as yet, but with Karen's blogs to keep me inspired, I know it will be a fun journey.

Karen awarded "Margie's Crafts" with a versatile blogger award in July from her 4 Lil' Girls blog, and I really appreciated the award, but did not get to post about it until now.

Thank you Karen

Karen is currently hosting a fab giveaway.
Big hugs,


Sunday, September 11, 2011

First meetings, reunion and a celebration

Isla meets her cousin Liv who has kindly brought her a gift and even helps to unwrap it.

Nana and Mel share a happy moment while Isla, Lein and I join in.

Lein and I spent some fun time together (Thanks to Guido for the photos).

We spent a wonderful few days in Antwerp.

Big hugs,


Saturday, September 10, 2011


Mr Margie and I have been celebrating with family in Belgium, he and I have been together for twenty five years now, and his parents celebrated 50 years of marriage at the end of August.

We also spent a week in Majorca, relaxing, soaking up the sunshine in preparation for the Autumn and Winter.

Some of you who know us personally will know that this has been a particularly difficult year for us, Mr Margie's business closed, we faced financial uncertainty, and debt. I took Leiny to Dublin airport and had a melt down in the bathroom, angry with our political leaders when I saw how many young well educated people were emigrating. We planned a new start, I stopped listening to the doom and gloom on the radio and in the media, in order to function in a positive way at work. A few weeks later our big plan to emigrate, failed despite committments and assurances, at the last possible moment.

Our ability to adapt and an openess and willingness to change and to think outside of the box, (along with family and friends support and love) helped us through the difficult times. However, it was all put into perspective when two family members passed away suddenly in February. Some family members were taking flights to the USA for a funeral while others were flying back home to Ireland for another. I stood in the graveyard looking at the faces of people I had not seen for years, some family, some neighbours, and thought that family, community and our interdependance as humans is more important than everything else. I surrounded myself with like minded crafters used Chez Margie saturdays and tuesdays and the blogs to keep afloat. I cherished every comment left on my posts.

Now we face into the autumn (fall) with more uncertainty, but with the knowledge that we have hope (I think this tree sums up our year, I saw it growing strong on the top of a 15 ft building in Majorca, and immediately I was drawn to it, a wonderful symbol of hope).
I have already had my first day back studying and while I will continue to craft and blog, however, Chez Margie will not be open for business until after all assignments have been handed in (I am taking this on while still working full time). In 2005 I completed my MSc in Equality Studies and am now working on a H Dip which will open the door to some teaching practice, with a view to a PhD in a couple of years.

Thank you all very much for visiting my blog.

Big hugs,


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Curracloe beach

Leiny walking on Curracloe beach, County Wexford (where Saving Private Ryan was filmed).

Ireland has experienced the coldest summer in 50 years.

The sky and sea were ever changing blues and greys.

Big hugs,


Monday, August 15, 2011

Living room makeover

The living room has had a complete makeover, gallery white on the walls and all the mexican pine furniture painted satinwood white. New crisp white curtains on the door and window. Clean and fresh for the Autumn. Gog and Magog were dusted down and inspired the colour scheme. Leiny's Interim exhibition prints were hung. It was a welcome distraction during the unseasonally cool summer we are experiencing.

Big hugs,


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Summer Supper

Fresh Melon with lemon balm leaves (melissa officinalis) and nasturtium flowers set the tone for a summer supper. Of course every Irish home serves new potatoes and fresh garden peas for main course at this time of year.

Leiny was busy in the afternoon with last of the season fresh strawberries

creating Strawberries and Cream cupcakes from the Primrose bakery recipe book.

Hope you are enjoying the summer harvests.

Big hugs,


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tea for two

Cath Kidston cups, saucers, tea pot and tea cosy (all birthday gifts) make tea time fun.

I love a pot of Earl Grey poured while it is not too strong and a good dash of milk.

How do you take yours?

Big hugs,


Friday, July 29, 2011

Sweet pea

The heavenly scent of, Lathyrus odoratus, sweet pea reminds me of when I was young and staying over at my Grandmother's house. It is currently winding its way up the side of the Arbor outside the back door, tiny delicate stems sneaking around the timber lattice.

Do you have any memories evoked by flowers?

Big hugs,


Monday, July 25, 2011

A week of birthdays

Isla was one last week, her birthday party was special, we were all together as a family.

We had multiple celebrations as next day it was Mr. Margie (Grandad)'s birthday, we drank non-alcohol pimms and cucumber water early in the day.

We had sandwiches, crisps, fruit skewers and vegetables for the dips, the party accessories were from Party Pieces.

The tables were set up in the garden and the sun stayed shining, the atmosphere was relaxed.

We also celebrated my birthday too, eating, chatting, and catching up.

Aunty Lein and Mammy Mel made the cake, muffins and cupcakes, these strawberry and cream muffins were the favourite.

Big hugs,