Scatterpillar Designs little family featured in The Irish Country Magazine

Portrait of

Custom made portraits

Scatterpillar Designs little family of dolls was mentioned in The Irish Country magazine . So it’s nice to be nice and say a huge thank you to the editor Jennifer Stevens and her team.

Textile dolls handmade from children's drawings

Custom Made Family Dolls

They gave the Custom Made Family Dolls a lovely write up in their magazine. All you have to do is order them here . You can send a drawing of you mum, dad or all of you as a family. You can also send us a photograph and I can work from this.

Scatterpillar Designs article in the Irish Country Magazine

I got a chance last night after putting the kiddos to bed to sit down armed with a cup of tea to have a read of the Irish Country Magazine. When I looked inside the magazine I seen the Farmers Journal mentioned as it’s published in the same place. I grew up in kildare and for the first 10 years of my life I lived in a thatched cottage belong to my grandfather. He used to buy the Farmers Journal and I do remember as a child looking at it.

There are some really great articles to keep you sipping your tea for an hour or two. I especially loved reading about Tammy Darcy from Waterford, who was bullied as a teenager. She decided to set up The Shona Project a website and workshop that provides a survival kit for teenage girls. Teenagers need a safe haven to help them and nurture their potential and The Shona Project seems to be doing just that.

Check out Deirdre O’ Kane looking amazing on the front cover and inside speaking to Jennifer Stevens about moving back home to Ireland from london.

The Irish Country Magazine have just launched “Irish made by Irish Country Magazine Awards”.  They want to find the makers, creators and craftspeople that make buying Irish so great. Every product  featured in the magazine that is made in Ireland has a stamp beside it including our family dolls. It sounds very exciting, so do have a look.





Our new website


Over the past couple of weeks we have been working away changing our website and making it more mobile friendly and easier to navigate around.

I also have new ranges for you to meet. The family dolls I have been working on a long time. They  make a very special present, as they are custom made for your child from their drawing. We will be expanding on this range in the new year, so sign up to our newsletter to hear whats new.newwebsitefamilydollsinsta

I also have  custom made family portraits  which are quirky and especially made for you. You can just send us a photograph and I will work from it to create individual portraits. newwebsitefamilyportaits16

There is also a new friend for the softies called Towery. He is a very huggable character. He is found alongside all the characters in our shop .


newwebsite16towermanforshopI also do realistic portraits of couples and families from photographs which you can also order. Here is an example of what I can do for you. They make great wedding or anniversary presents.



I want to say a big huge thank you to a few select people, you know who you are. It’s people like you that make me think yep they are still good people around helping others.

I appreciate feedback from clients and customers, so get in touch with me with any ideas or special requests you have.

We really hope you enjoy the new site.

Jacinta & family xxx

All aboard the spooky express

“All aboard the Spooky Express” was heard from the  solemn looking victorian gentleman, who stood on the platform. A fog was creeping onto the platform, as my daughter grabbed hold of me as tight as she could. “Mum please stop taking photos, put down the camera, I am TERRIFIED”…

This is coming from the same child, full of beans at 6.45 the same morning announcing to me and the whole world ” it’s HALLOWEEN…”

We decided to get tickets to go down to The Spooky Express” in Waterford & Suir Valley Railway earlier in the month. We have over the years been on the santa train, but decided this was the year to bring them on The Spooky Express without them jumping out of their skins. How wrong was I….


Father and son


We arrived in plenty of time and our daughter ran off down towards the train. She came running back “I want to go home”. “No-one else is dressed up”, we managed to coax her to come back down with us.


Scary zombie at the spooky express

She ate her words on the way down or should I say a zombie ate her words, she was terrified of him. She threatened to hit him with the umbrella she had. Then we met his victorian friends….


The resident zombie and his victorian friends.


Proud as punch with their costumes.

Our son was the calm resilient type, who took the mime art business very seriously, as you can see in the photos…


Our son’s drawing of a mime artist

After all he had the idea for the look we should all have for the face paint. This is his drawing he handed to me mid week.Our daughter decided on taking over being the stylist.

We stood waiting on the platform waiting nervously to hear the noise of the train.quinnwaitingforthewaterfordghosttrain16insta


The train came and we all boarded, only some survived the zombie attack…


listening to a tale of a haunted train journey before we go on our journey.


We heard a very scary story before boarding the spooky express.

My daughter was stuck to me like glue. I couldn’t do anything, but calm her before the train set off. To make matters worst my daughter and myself locked eye contact, when we heard  a woman’s voice from the other open carriage say “I felt something on my leg”. I am terrified of my own shadow. so when I heard this, I was imagining they had someone underneath the seats. So that thought of “jumping out of our skins” wasn’t wrong to say!…

After hearing this the train set off into the darkness, my son and husband facing us. They seemed fine, maybe just on the surface. I think everyone on board was a bit tense. I know I was sitting in from the edge and we all seemed to huddle together towards the middle. cormacandquinnaboardwaterfordholloweentrainblogwm16

As the train slowed down, there was a few screams as we crawled towards our fate. Scary clowns are in the news and a few are on the run down in waterford.


We managed to escape the scary clowns only to hear the distant noises of a chainsaw. We came upon a funeral procession, which had someone running around yielding a chainsaw. My daughter had a grip so tight to me there was no chance of escaping her, to take any photos.

They was lots more scary things that go bump in the darkness of the woodlands. But as we passed the river on the far side of us, it really did look very tranquil, that is until the train slowed down again.


This is when things got  really bad for one child on the train….


My son who was calm up until now, turned to me and said “Mum what are they going to do with him?”.  As we witnesses the child being pulled off the train by a deranged looking individual.  The boy was tied up and brought over to the fire.


Looking back at the fire and the child, I didn’t answer his question…


As we pulled into the station again, everyone blew out a sign of relief. My daughter let go of her tight grip and the next morning  I was left with a reminder on my upper right arm of Holloween. Two small bruises about the size of my daughters hand….






Waterford has a lot to shout about

Conor Rush's ceramic sculpture in the window of the new gallery space Studio 20ten

Conor Rush’s ceramic sculpture in the window of the new gallery space Studio 20ten

Waterford sure has a lot to shout about. We decided to go on one last road trip to the sunny south east, before the kids went back to school. We headed down late on Friday night with a slight de-tour in Carlow because of road works, but we didn’t let that dampen our spirits. We were going to make the most of Saturday, as unfortunately we had to leave very early Sunday morning for work commitments.

Our kids outside Reginald towers playing with a model of Waterford city

Our kids outside Reginald tower playing with a model of Waterford city

I had read about Waterford walls last year and really wanted to make it down with our children to see it this year. On Saturday morning we woke up to blue skies, so we headed to the local park to have breakfast and a strong coffee. Coffee has become like a loyal strong friend in our lives since having twins :)…

The danger zone, where there are giant size rice crispie buns and lots of paw prints from children.

The danger zone in the Park lodge Cafe, where there are giant size rice crispie buns and lots of paw prints on the glass from children ;)).

The Peoples Park in Waterford has a great little pitstop for parents, joggers alike called Park Lodge Cafe. Now be forewarned: there is way too much temptation in this place at the counter. Lot’s of little paw prints have been left by children looking longingly at the cakes and a few adult prints also. But when on holidays, just do whatever you want to do, and in our case it’s eat lots of nice food…peoplesparkparklogdgecafewm

The park has a brilliant playground. It also has skateboarding, where tweens and teens can hang out and check out each others new moves.

We headed off after refuelling down town towards Lombard Street. We came across an exhibition called Dust breeding by Fiona Kelly in Soma contemporary gallery.

We crossed the road and discovered  a new gallery called Studio 20 ten , which was having its opening night that night. I was speaking with Conor Rush, who is one of the artists involved. He is responsible for the ceramic head which is the featured image of this blog post. They are a collective group of artists using traditional and contemporary mediums.

Ceramic head by Conor Rush

Ceramic head by Conor Rush

Our daughter looking at work by Milia Tsaoussis- Maddock.

Our daughter looking at work by Milia Tsaoussis- Maddock.

Painting by Roisin Kinsella

Painting by Roisin Kinsella on the top left, underneath paintings by Daragh Lyons and to the right Christine O’Brien

We walked on towards the city centre, our kids armed with their map to find out where all the walls were being brought to life with colour around Waterford city for waterford walls.Our daughter watching friends playing a game of chess, before they headed off to the Bluegrass festival in Dunmore. They told us they missed the bus...

Our daughter watching friends playing a game of chess, before they headed off to the Bluegrass festival in Dunmore. They told us they missed the bus…

The first piece we came across was by Joe Caslin, a street artist from Roscommon. His project theme is called ‘our nation’s sons’. He produces large scale portraits of young men.

Waterford walls is only in its second year. It came about through a group of like-minded people wanting to make a difference to their community and bring much-needed colour to their city’s walls.

Forty local and international street artists came together in Waterford for a weekend of shared passion of making walls come to life with beautiful colourful imagination.

Caoilfhionn Hanton

Caoilfhionn Hanton

The first artist our kids spoke to was fresh-faced Caoilfhionn Hanton. She is from Waterford and took part last year. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of her artists hands….

Caoilfhionn Hanton hands

Caoilfhionn Hanton hands

Our son watching Serbian artist Vunik at work

Our son watching Serbian artist Vunik at work

The kids guided us to the next mural by Serbian artist Vunik.

Waterford walls is an annual festival and celebration, which this year included workshops and walking tours. You can find a google map showing where they all are here.

We saw locals and tourists alike engaging in conversations with the street artists, which is so great to see. Along with bringing colour to the walls, it breathes life into cultural conversation between different people, young and old.

Our daughter was puzzled or bamboozled by this painting below. When we came home I showed her some Esher prints. This was painted by Jerry Rugg (Birdo).

Our daughter trying to figure how Jerry Rugg (Birdo) did this mural

Our daughter trying to figure how Jerry Rugg (Birdo) did this Esher inspired mural of a pig like creature.

Close up of a herd of colourful patchwork elephants by Louis Masai a full time artist from london.

Close up of a herd of colourful patchwork elephants by Louis Masai a full time artist from london.

We came across a very colourful herd of elephants by louis Masai, who is a London-based full time artist. His subject matter questions us humans on why we revere the death of a celebrity, yet fail to recognise a disappearing species.

Vunik to the right wall and louis Masai's herd of colourful elephants

Vunik to the right wall and louis Masai’s herd of colourful elephants


Catching a few Irish sunrays Brendan Butler

Catching a few Irish sunrays Brendan Butler


Brendan Butler a graduate of Crawford College was working feverishly on his painting in soaring heat.




English artist Aliss Curtis taking time out from her wall

English artist Aliss Curtis taking time out from her wall


We spoke to Aliss Curtis originally from north Wales, but living in Dublin. She was taking time out from her work. She is a graphic design graduate, which lead her to a special interest in spatial design.




Our children lead us on to the carpark, where we saw JMK (Jonny Mc Kerr)and DMC (Dermot McConaghy), who is a visual artist at work .waterfordwalls

Waterford walls has a sibling this year going under the name of T-walls. The project has expanded to Tramore and this year Five walls were painted. So for next year, we wish you the best of luck and I hope you receive funding from the relevant art organisations.

shadow lands...Jonny Mckerr at work.

shadow lands…Jonny Mckerr at work.

It was a flying visit on a whim, but so worth while and it was very educational for our children and a brilliant last hurrah before school starts again ……. ps thanks to the friendly biker who got talking to and allowed our son onto this bike. Our daughter wasn’t interested…

Our son thanks to the friendly biker, who made his day....

Our son thanks to the friendly biker, who made his day….

Jacinta and Family xxx







Wishi washi houses…

littlehouseswm16 copy

Making the wishi washi houses

littlehouseswm163 copy

All in a row…


It’s all in your hands

Wishi washi houses so named by my kids. My kids had another crafty idea over the weekend with little visitors. My kids showed our little guests how to make cute little houses. They had great fun colouring them in.












All you need is:

Tiolet rolls


Hard card

Washi tape in different colours.

It’s great as a rainy day project and why not join in yourself and make a little wishi washi house.




Let’s get crafty…



Let’s get crafty.

Last week, the kids had a friend over on a play date. Now, I don’t know about any of you, but for me it means one eye on the kids while I get sucked into the housework: the boring mundane reality of cooking, washing etc, etc. I wish little gremlins would come out and magically do it for us parents.

We decided the chores could wait and we were all going to have a bit of fun. I was shopping during the week and bought a load of art materials, including key rings. I gave the kids a look at what was on the table and they decided on the key rings. They began by sketching their ideas.

Mmmm What will I draw next..

Mmmm What will I draw next..

They choose the colours and the materials they were going to use. I have lots of scraps of materials, but you could also use scraps of material from clothes. We began cutting out the shapes for the ideas.


   Smile your on camera

I showed them how to thread the needles and demonstrated how to sew. Just use scraps of material to begin with to practice on.  Now there was lots of troubleshooting, lots of knots, but they persevered.

Froozen chocolate banana pieces.

Frozen Bananas with chocolate and sprinkles

It can get frustrating for some children, so take a break and leave it aside for a while. Have something nice like we did: yummy frozen banana pieces with sprinkles.


Stitching the mouth onto the character.

We went on to sew the various bits and bobs onto the fabric once they had a few practice runs. I hope you like the photos. All my photos, except my product shots, are taken by me. I don’t have a team of people taking the shots either, so bear with me. Any tips would be gladly taken on board from like-minded photo enthusiasts…. and bloggers.



Two friends helping each other with their designs. It’s good for children to help each other and work out problems together. Stand back and watch.

My daughter decided on using some beads on her key rings. This is the joy of looking at your children creating arts and craft at your kitchen table. My son helped their friend with the sewing.  They get so involved in the creative process. The finished piece went onto the school bags beside a good message from The Road Safety Authority: “Be Safe, Be Seen”.


Hope you are enjoying the Easter break.

Jacinta & Family x





My dream dog…

IMG_20160314_094555 (1)My dream dog…..that’s what my daughter wrote the morning after we got Harry.

Harry came into our lives last Saturday. It was a bit of a surprise; one that is very welcome. He is such a chilled out dog. We have spoken about getting a dog for ages and, for us, that means for two years. Having twins, adding a dog to the madness when they were young was not in the equation. It’s only in the past two years that we really started to seriously think about getting a dog. We had always thought a rescue dog and on and off over the past couple of years we have gone to the DSPCA, Dog’s Aid and Dogs Trust. But trying to get the right match and to decide on a dog is really hard. As it is such a big decision.

Sitting in the car early last week waiting for my children to finish an activity, my heart skipped a beat when I saw a post from his owner on Miniature Schnauzer Ireland. Harry’s owner could not keep him due to work commitment.

I texted the owner and, needless to say, a lot of people did. I had been in touch with a lovely woman called Pam from The Miniature Schnauzer Rescue Ireland back in November and she said to stay in touch. So I decided to get her advice regarding Harry and she came back straight away with lots of advice. His owner told me he had met other people, but on Saturday he decided, once he’d seen the kids, that we would be Harry’s new family.

It was very emotional for Harry’s owner and we all felt very emotional for taking Harry from his owner and I kept saying “are you sure?”. But he felt it was the right thing to do, as his work hours had changed.

Harry batting his eyebrows;))

Harry batting his eyebrows;))

We all sat in silence for a while. I think we needed to pinch ourselves to realise we had a dog in the back of the car going home. All we could say on and off was “I can’t believe it, we have a dog”. We were a bit apprehensive and to add to the madness we had two extra kids over for a sleepover Saturday night. But Harry loves kids and was in his element with all the entertainment.harrydadinbackground

This is a photo of Harry supervising my dad :)) in the garden.  Derek from A.B.S  DIY supplies thank you for helping me out with the measurements for the fencing.

Harry is an absolute credit to his previous owner.  He is so named because when the owner brought him home Harry Potter was on the television.

When I brought him to the vet today he couldn’t get over how white his teeth were. He said he was so well looked after and a really handsome dog.

We agreed how, when you throw something out to the universe, it does happen sometimes that you get what you dream of…

Jacinta and Co x


In Ireland it never rains….

In Ireland it never rains, but it pours. That is a certainty . When you go on holidays, the sun is splitting the trees the week before you go. It’s the luck of the draw, regarding the ‘odd shower’, when you look up the weather forecast before you set off on your journey. You google again on the way down and it has turned from the odd shower into blustery winds.

Audio books were a saviour on the drive down in the car on our holidays in Kerry this year. Our son picked out the music: Hozier, Pink Floyd and The National and, for good measure, The Beatles. I was impressed when he showed me. There was the odd killing in the back of the car between the two kids on the way, even with forward planning. We were glad that we had sort of built a wall between the two of them with clothes that wouldn’t fit in the boot.

Another good tip is no hard objects, which could be grabbed and used as missiles…..


Kingdom waves surfing school, Inch Beach


My kids after their surfing, Inch Beach, Dingle

A week in Ireland, regardless of the rain, is worthwhile. I was never a sun worshipper. I just frizzle, freckle and burn. Thankfully my kids don’t have my skin. Our kids went surfing for the first time on Inch Beach with Kingdom waves surf school. The smiles on their faces told the tale of pure enjoyment.


Our son ….

My son, one of the days, said ” Mum can we climb the mountain and touch the clouds”, whilst driving over the Caherconree Pass.   What did happen was we had a stand off with a lorry, as you do, while the clouds looked like they were gripping hold of the mountain and about to crawl down towards us.

Highlights for us this year was Castlegregory Beach and The Maharees, and having a game of hurling on one of the strands. We ate dinner in Sheehy’s Anchor Down, Dingle which is very reasonably priced for families. It only opened its doors in July. When we stepped out the door after dinner, we heard Irish music being played with gusto next door in Siopa Ceoil.


The local cat is working in the box office outside Siopa Ceoil

We even got to pay a visit to Lisbeth Mulcahy in Dingle to see Lula, Flowery and The Sock Detective.

In Ireland it rains,  but it rains candyfloss. This is what my daughter called this latest embroidered artwork ” Look it’s raining candyfloss, mum”. It is based on an original drawing by her. Children don’t see the rain, they see lots of opportunities for fun…….


“Look it’s raining candyfloss Mum”








Enjoy the little things in life, because they become the most important things….

My children’s world is about enjoying the small things, as they really do become the most important things when you look back. I was saying this to someone during the week, with reference to holidays. One thing our children still talk about is the time we had to eat the picnic out of the booth of our car, because it was raining. They still laugh about and think it was great fun. Now that’s what makes good memories. They become the great days you remember in years to come.

My son finished early this week from his summer camp, so I got to spend time with him on his own. On two of the days we went out to the Phoenix Park. cloudwatchingjuly15 The first day he decided we should do a bit of cloud watching. Try this with your children, you can come up with some amazing scenes, if the clouds are right. We saw a bear, a unicorn, a warrior and a host of different characters. On the second day we decided we would go for a walk, listening along the way to grasshoppers and then my son took off after a butterfly. It’s something you would never dream of doing, as an adult, but children really do make you revert back to being a child again.

chasingbutterfliesjuly15This particular day, there was loads of butterflies. My son couldn’t make up his mind which way to run, as they appeared to be darting every direction in order to unwittingly cause amusing confusion. Which sent us both into a fit of laughterl.

For the next, new embroidered work, I decided I wanted to have fun and use mixed media. I made the little house first. It was in my studio for a while. I just wasn’t sure where I wanted to place it. For me I have to leave some pieces, just sit for a while, move away from them and then come back later. I am really looking forward to developing these further. My daughter decided on the name  ‘Great Days’. Hoping you create great days with you and yours……



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My children’s world

My children’s world at the moment is about having fun and being active…….

Summer camps are great. We parents can live in hope that they use up all that energy by the time we collect them!

Having the kids in summer camp is allowing me  to get some work done. I promised I would show you some more, so here is the next piece (shown above). It is from a drawing that my son did two years ago. He was sitting at the kitchen table and he drew this along with his dad. They are small, but I kept them as I just loved the way he drew the fingers and reaching out with the long arm . So I decided to put in the heart. When I showed the finished piece to my son, he called it “I love you this much…”. As always, I’m trying to capture a moment in my child’s life.

I use free motion embroidery from an original drawing from my son. This is on sale in my online shop, I can incorporate different wordings, e.g names of different people, be it “I love you this much mum/dad/granny/daughter’s (name) or son’s name”. Just let me know. Again the heart is detachable

When the kids come home I find they are still wired to the moon and asking the question “what are we doing now mummy?” This week our son was in soccer camp and my daughter in Cul Camps. We are trying to encourage them to save their money and paying for things themselves, so their birthday money went towards helping to pay for the summer camps.

Our  son won player of the week last week in soccer camp. So he was quitely chuffed. To the boy who wasn’t sure he wanted to play soccer and now loves it. Thanks to the encouragement of the volunteers who run the summer camps.

So far, so good. They really are enjoying their summer.20150717_152913

Hope your children are having fun also…



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