Back to School

It's that time again, but this year the back-to-school season has taken on a different meaning in our family, as my sister has just moved into her new house ... except that it's not new at all; it's actually a Victorian-era schoolhouse that has been beautifully restored and renovated. 

I've told her that I'm probably the third most excited person about her new house (after her and her husband). Firstly, I am naturally delighted for her as my sister. But also, I genuinely love the building and its history. It is so photogenic that I have convinced her to start an Instagram account for it, which she has named The Irish Schoolhouse.  

My sister has more creativity in her little finger than most people have in their entire bodies, so I just know that her house is going to be something really special. 

Of course, as a home decor lover (and the third most excited person about her new house!) I couldn't resist getting in on the schoolhouse zeal with a couple of little housewarming gifts.

Firstly, I came across this cute little milk jug/creamer and sugar bowl that reminded me of a child's copybook. It's by Temerity Jones London, and I found it in the lovely Michelle Mitton store while on a weekend break in Clonakilty.

My sister had wanted to introduce little references to the history of her home through some accessories, and so I'm thrilled that she agrees that these are a nice touch for her old schoolhouse kitchen.

Also, her new home is in a Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area) and, as you can already see from her Instagram posts so far, she is also keen to embrace that in her home decor. Well, one night we had been joking around about how few people learn Irish well in school, and so I decided to make something to allude to that. As we all know, one of the few phrases that pupils do learn very quickly in school is how to ask permission to go to the toilet! So I made a little cross-stitch decoration with that phrase written on it in the old Cló Gaelach, the font that would have been in use when the school was built. The image is adapted from a picture I found on the internet of a vintage cross-stitch pattern and I incorporated elements that reflect the style and colours of her bathroom. I worked out the stitching for the font using graph paper. I definitely amused myself by making it, and thankfully she gets the joke too and finds it equally amusing to have it hanging in her loo!

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Thanks to @ferngrovecottage for the #widn. Today we're hoping to hear the news of when my sister can pick up the keys of her new house. It's a beautiful old 19th-century schoolhouse that has been very sympathetically restored and converted. Because she wants to incorporate little touches around the house that reference the building's history, I made this cross stitch as a little gift to complement the colours and style of her bathroom. The text is a bit of an in-joke about the teaching of the Irish language in schools, with one of the few phrases pupils accomplish being that which asks permission to go to the toilet! The font I've used is the old Cló Gaelach, which would have been in use when the school was built. In today's Roman type, it would read "An bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas?" I modified the design from a vintage pattern and devised a stitching plan for the font using graph paper. Thankfully, she loves it and thinks it's as hilarious as I do ... but maybe that's just a weird sense of humour that runs in the family! 🤓 Given the theme of today's post, I'll ask fellow Irish instagrammers @insidesixty3 and if they'd like to play? . . #thehousethatwill #crossstitch #craft #crafts #schoolhouse #oldschoolhouse #irishinteriorsblog #irishhomes #thisisireland #ireland #irish #gaeilge #historichouse #historichomes #periodproperty #vintage #vintagehomelove #quirkyart #quirkygifts #newhouse

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In fact, I was genuinely surprised to find that, when I posted this pic on Instagram, many others commented that they also thought it very funny. So I'm glad it's a joke that others appreciate and not just my own quirky sense of humour!

If you'd like to see more of my sister's schoolhouse, I do encourage you to follow her journey on Instagram as she turns a beautiful building into a fantastic home.

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