We spent the weekend in Cushendun, arriving late on Friday evening and staying until Sunday morning. Our accommodation was in one of the camping cabins at the Cushendun Caravan Holiday Park. They have five cabins at the park, which is predominantly full of static caravans with a small section for touring vans and tents. We stayed in the cabin called Glenaan, which was right next to the beginning of the path that runs to the village. The cabin has basic amenities – electric, a kettle, fridge, heater and a toilet with a small sink. Outside there is a water tap and a picnic table with metal plate for barbeques. Cooking inside the cabin is not permitted, there are kitchen facilities elsewhere within the site. We didn’t intend to cook anything beyond cup-a-soup anyway.

The cabin was very well insulated so we all wound up creeping out of our sleeping bags in the middle of the night.

The only problem that I had was that I had been in such a panic to pack on the Friday that I forgot to pack my coffee making kit. At 9am on Saturday morning, with the beginnings of a coffee hangover, I marched Miss M and Miss E into the village. It is a very pleasant walk via Glenmona House, with it’s squirrel playground (sadly we didn’t spot any), past the Church of Ireland, around the back of the Council Houses, past Mary McBride’s pub and over to The Corner House Cafe – which was closed. Boo hoo! At least there were ducks and a swan to look at at the harbour car park. We visited the shop and walked back to the cabin. At 10am I marched them back into the village, accompanied by Dave and his fishing gear. This time the cafe was open. Oh happy me. Dave went fishing and I went to the cafe with the girls. Coffee and a scone for me and Kids Breakfasts for the girls. I thought about ordering a second cup of coffee, but I didn’t have to as I was given a free one as they were testing out a new coffee machine.

Afterwards we walked along the beach and Miss M splashed around. She decided that she wanted to go swimming, fortunately our cabin was only a five minute walk from the beach. We got wet suited up and splashed around for a while. The water wasn’t too bad – I am told, by Dave, that at this time of the year the sea is at its warmest, having been warmed up by all those hours of sunlight over the summer. Miss E was not one bit interested in coming into the sea. Dave went back to the cabin to fetch our lunch and we picnicked by the sea.

After lunch we cleaned up, dressed in our proper clothes and went exploring. We went back into the village via the river walk, where we threw huge stones into a very deep and dark brown River Dun. It is named after its brown colour, which comes from the peat bogs at its source. Then over the bridge and down to the harbour, past the local goat and the Ropeworks Bar. At the end of the harbour past the apartments is a road leading down to the caves – used as a Game of Thrones location, where Melisandre gave birth to a shadow. We explored the caves and, fortunately, found no evidence of shadow babies!

Miss E gathered some pebbles, Miss M told us they were special stones that you bang together when you are annoyed by something. So, if you feel like crying you bang the stones together instead. They were big pebbles and Miss E wanted to take them back with her. She tried to get me to carry them for her, but I wasn’t falling for that. I showed her how to make a hammock out of the bottom of her jumper to carry them in and she carried them all the way back to the cabin, past the Ropeworks Bar, past the goat, over the bridge, past the Corner House Cafe, past the village shop, past the Village Square, past the Council Houses, past the Church of Ireland, past the squirrel playground, past Glenmona House, through the woods and back to our cabin.


Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Co. Antrim

Having kids doesn’t make me braver, it just makes me quieter about the things that scare me, such as heights and being on a rope bridge that is swaying around. The last time I crossed Carrick-a-Rede my legs turned to jelly before I crossed. This time I had to be brave for the sake of the six year old and nearly 4 year old accompanying me. They crossed without complaint and I encouraged them to enjoy the experience. Not a scary trip – an exhilarating trip! Fortunately the rope bridge doesn’t look like it does above anymore. It is much safer, the whole place is a lot safer, with various barriers on the island to keep silly visitors from plunging over the cliffs.

Evie crossing Carrick-a-Rede followed by her personal cameraman.

Evie crossing Carrick-a-Rede followed by her personal documentary filmmaker.


Twitchy Fingers

It may seem that Miss M gets the lion’s share of the handmade items, but this is not true, she just enjoys the whole process of modelling more than Miss E. Also, Miss E’s new shorts are still waiting for elastic to hold them up.

While we wait for the elastic we can look at Miss M’s new dress, another geranium dress to add to her collection, this time made from a vintage skirt donated to me by my Mum.

Geranium dress

Geranium dress


Vintage fabric

Vintage fabric



For kids that keep growing


Indigo Dyed Lazy Days Skirt

Indigo Dyed Lazy Days Skirt

I am so glad to have children that love to have clothes made for them, though I realise this will not last forever. So while they enjoy and wear them, I cannot help but make them more. Above is an Oliver + S Lazy Days Skirt, my favourite easy pattern for my skirt loving girls. The fabric is some that I dyed at home using indigo dye.

Indigo Dyed Fabric

Indigo Dyed Fabric

Lazy Days Skirt in action

Lazy Days Skirt in action


Miss M got a new shirt, another Oliver and S pattern, this time the Music Class Blouse. I normally avoid anything with buttonholes, but my new sewing machine has an easy buttonhole program and I will never be afraid of buttonholes ever again.

Music Class Blouse

Music Class Blouse

Music Class Blouse

Music Class Blouse

The fabric is a fine white gauze with Swiss dots and the buttons are vintage. The pink tinge is from the vest Miss M is wearing underneath – because she liked it. Miss M must have been happy with the shirt because she insisted on wearing it before I had a chance to remove all the blue pattern markings.

Sew and sew

This is a bit of catch up of some the sewing I have been doing over the past couple of months.

I had the Merchant and Mills Landgate jacket pattern and enough black British Millerain waxed fabric to make 2 jackets since last summer, but it was the impending Christmas gift season that spurred me on to get started. Dave was the first to get a complete jacket.


The lovely Dave and the lovely Maya in matching beards.

Dave has the version with the side pockets. A couple of weeks ago I finally got around to making my own jacket and decided to go for the patch pocket and to add a lining to the jacket. Instructions for a lining are not included in the pattern, so it was all a bit of an experiment. I cut out all the pieces of the pattern in the waxed cotton and all but the hood facing, drawstring band and pockets in the lining fabric. The lining was stitched together in the same method as the outer and the two were joined together at the topstitching stage. I was very glad to have already had the practice with making Dave’s jacket, otherwise I would have given up!

The Landgate Jacket with patch pockets


Here is a dodgy picture of the lining fabric.

Lining fabric

Lining fabric

The resulting jacket is warm and cosy, though I need to practice getting it off without removing all my top layers. The pattern is pretty straightforward, just follow the instructions and I liked the simple method of marking the notches.

So, what to make with my leftover pieces of waxed cotton?





For the love of dog

Nine years ago Gracie was born and I was very excited to meet her.

The dog I got and her brother.

Photo by T Moriarty

Photo by T Moriarty

With her Mummy.

Photo by T Moriarty

Photo by T Moriarty

All grown up with Macy.

Gracie & Macy

With her new Mum.


An easy life.

Rugby fans

A new friend.

Gracie & Maya

In the bluebells.

In the bluebells

Martha and Gracie on holiday.

On holiday

Evie and Gracie.

Evie and Gracie

9 Years Old! Happy Birthday Gracie!

Taming the jungle

Going on holiday in the middle of July results in returning to an overgrown jungle in the garden. The task of removing all the shoots from the tomatoes is all the more difficult as they have grown to an enormous size in the few weeks we were away. Oh there are so many of them! The lettuce has nearly all bolted and we struggle to get replacement seeds sown when we are trying to reclaim space in the overgrown raised beds to sow the seeds in. There are not enough gardening hours at this time of year.

The kale has transformed into a small tree and is intertwined with climbing beans.







An abundance


This is our garlic harvest and it has been a good one! This stuff really seems to love the polytunnel and whatever else is going on with the soil. I really should keep better notes about what we have done. I think the garlic bed had compost two years ago and legumes last year.

The poppies flowered a few weeks earlier this year, last year we missed them as we were on holiday.



The first peas


The broad beans are just starting to fatten up and the peas have given us our first small harvest. Not enough to take home and cook, but just enough to feed small people (and myself) straight from the plant. They prefer to eat their greens very fresh. Once cooked and put on a dinner plate the greens are usually rejected.



Turns out the big people are are sampling the greens in the garden too, though I would have thought it wise to correctly identify a plant prior to eating. Someone has been sampling the leaves of my bread seed poppies, thinking that they are a type of oriental green!

In the garden, 12 May


This week in the garden we built some structures: a bean teepee for the purple climbing beans and a trellis for tomatoes (which will be grown up strings). Last years support for the tomatoes struggled under the weight of the many fruits that grew, so this year Dave has tried to make it extra strong.

Wee Blaíthín

By the banks of the Bann

I find I don’t have quite as much time to knit these days, but I usually have something on the go. I finished this Blaíthín cardigan for Martha in February and she has got good wear out of it. Sadly, the ceramic buttons that I used were not up to the job, several of them broke and have been replaced with plastic buttons.


At the start of the year a had a bit of a sewing frenzy. I hope to share some of the items I made soon, but until then I leave you with this picture.



New Year, New Socks - 1/3662/3663/3664/3665/3666/366

366, a set on Flickr.

A photo a day from 2012. Some really terrible pictures and lots that I love. It has been hard work, especially after I returned to work in October – it is hard to find something to photograph when you spend all your daylight hours in a boring office.

Next year I will lessen the pressure and do a 52 weeks project.