Wednesday, June 3, 2015

#IrishBlogCollab Catch Up - Weeks 7 & 8


Agh, I fell behind big time with this - I have so many draft posts done that I wanted to try and clear some of them last week. I've combined Weeks 7 and 8 in this post, and I'll pop Week 9 up next Wednesday.

Week 7: Instagram Round-Up!

I've been neglecting instagram a little of late, in favour of talking shite on Snapchat (sharonleavy). You can find me on instagram at behindgreeneyes83, and here are a few of my recent posts.

Fakeaway - Slimming World chips with Prawn/Veg Stir Fry - was yummmmmmmy!
Card - Cross Stitch Baby Card
Eyelash Envy - One of my twins has the longest eyelashes I've ever seen!

Salted Caramel Green Tea - Smells great, tastes like green tea
Tá - Yes Equality in Longford Town
Woods - Out for a walk early one morning and spotted these flowers!

Card #2 - First Communion Card
Lips - MAC Stripdown liner and necklaces from New Look
YES - Saw this just after voting, it was lovely.

Week 8: Tips or Advice on Something You're an Expert At

I thought about this for ages - I could pretty much ace any Friends or Buffy quiz you throw at me, but I suppose the thing I'm best at is cross stitching - I've been doing it for nearly 17 years now and I love adapting patterns and making my own. This next bit may seem bizarre for June - but you don't want to be leaving this stuff until November, it takes too long. Seriously, I have a few to do this year and I'll be starting them shortly. So I present - how to make a cross stitch Christmas Stocking!

You can find patterns easily online now - Pinterest is fantastic. Sometimes I like to take designs and chart them out myself, adding my own touches. There are also lots of magazines - they're expensive, with most coming in around the €7 mark, but you'll have them for life. I've a pile of them in a press that I have gone back to several times. Cross stitch material is called Aida - it comes in different "counts" (squares per inch). A design stitched on 18 count Aida will turn out smaller than a design stitched on 12 count. I usually stick to 14 count, it's a nice in-between size.

I chose a bear pattern for Darren's stocking and a Santa one for Edward, both found on Pinterest. It took me about six weeks to stitch both. I don't follow the colour key - I just use whatever colours I have that are close to the ones in the patterns.

When I finished stitching, I got some red cotton fabric in a local sewing shop and tacked the design to it, good side down.

Then I sewed around the outlines, going over it twice.

I cut the excess fabric off the sides.

Then I turned it inside out to check it was okay!

Next, the fur - I turned the stocking inside out again for this. I bought a length of fur in the sewing shop. I find this hard to work with - it tends to shed when it's cut, so I folded it over and sewed it together before attaching it so that I wouldn't have bits falling off. I used white thread doubled to attach it to the top of the stocking, making sure the aida stayed on the wrong side.

Next - the braid. You can get lengths of cord for edging cushions that has a bit of extra material attached, if you were using that you could sew it in to the stocking when joining the aida to the backing. I couldn't find that locally, so I used a piece of braid without the extra piece and sewed it carefully to the edge. Right side out for this, just pull one edge up under the fur, make a loop for hanging, and sew in place on the inside. Use red thread to secure it the whole way along the edge.

And that's it, really. When I had done them both, they looked like this:

Hopefully the lads will keep them safe!

Do you have a hidden expertise in something? I'd love to know what everyone's secret talent is!

The other ladies taking part in the collab are here:



  1. What a great collection of pictures!

  2. You're such a good mammy making the stockings, they're fantastic!

  3. I actually don't mind the Christmas mention! I like to start early on the decorations just to be sure I get them done on time (pinterest is both a blessing and a curse!) xx

    1. Phew!! Ah you'd have to start early, I think the crafting magazines start printing the Christmas patterns from this time on! I did those in November last year and I was cutting it close,can't believe we're already halfway through the year! x

  4. Ah no, I love the salted caramel tea! I don't take coffee, only on the very rare occasion, and it really makes me feel like I'm drinking a latte. Maybe I'm so long off the good stuff that I can tell the difference. Also, kinda unrelated, but I'm still sore about my favourite Twinings tea being taken off the market. It was glorious.

    1. I hate when stuff I like is discontinued too, awful to try and find a replacement! I don't mind the Salted Caramel tea but I don't taste salted caramel at all. I get a Green Tea and Peppermint one from Holland & Barrett that I've been drinking for months so maybe it's just personal taste, probably used to the mint! x

  5. Those stockings are AMAZING Sharon.. that's some talent :)


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