29 Feb 2012

A Brief Adventure

The Grand Canal Theatre

I went on a little adventure this week, hence the lack of blogging. I was in Dublin for a bit, which is where my family are originally from, and where I spent years working in my late teens/early twenties. It was nice to hang out in some old haunts, but even nicer to see how much it's changed in the past 10 years. I was up around the canal area and the IFSC, and it looks like a completely diferent city. There is some great arcitecture, especially The Grand Canal Theatre, and the Samual Beckett Bridge I had two firsts this weekend, I was on the Luas and I was also on a ricshaw. It seems crazy that I had never been on the luas before, but out of laziness I always automatically hop on the bus when i get off at hueston, but with the help of my sister i managed to figure out the ticket machine. It was fun, it didn't feel like I was in Dublin at all. The ricshaw was a blast, the Brazilian guy cycling it was rather charming and handsome, and it was a novelty to see the street lit night flying past at speed. It was ceertainly much nicer than getting an over priced cab and listening to a grumpy taxi driver. 

After my couple of days in Dublin I went to visit my ex housemate Cecily in Belfast. Even though it's only really up the road I had never been up North before, but i was delighted that I made the effort. It's a vibrant city with bit of an underdog feeling to it. It has lots of really nice bars and cafes, but it's not as flashy and showy as Dublin, which is a good thing. On Saturday night we went to see Fionn Regan is a quiet church gig. It was a really fantastic performance, but I was a little disappointed that the only beverages on offer we tea and biscuits, it was a little too subdued for a grand night out in the big smoke.

 I wish I could remember the names of the places I went to, but some highlights were:
A double rum and coke for £5 in a huge bar that played great music
A beastly breakfast that could have fed a starving family
A 3 hour chat in a lovely coffee shop with very cozy sofas
A magical chinese that lets you get a little bit of everything in in tray for a single set price(I didn't pay so I've no idea how much it was) but it was amazingly unhealthy and delicious,perfect 3am food!
Getting to listen to everyones' accent, which is rather tasty too
Getting to hang out with Cecily, I miss her lots.

Pin It

21 Feb 2012

Logo Design Process

This week I've been trying to lets of things organised for the pop-up shop project that I'm heading. In the past few weeks we've had some exciting developments, lots more people have come on board. we also got confirmation on the space, it will be in the Sony Centre on O Connell St. I'm so delighted about this project, especially now that the ball has gotten rolling. 

We decided on the name 'Limerick Craft & Design', it's pretty simple and 'it does exactly what it says on the tin'. The City Council were keen for it to have a strong link with Limerick in the name, so we kept it basic and to the point.

I've been working on the logo design over the past few days. After a little brain storming I found that my ideas were split into two catagories, either a clean, modern, slick logo, or something more textured and crafty. Both looks have their pros and cons but at the moment I'm leaning more towards the pared down designer image, but I played with both design types to see what ideas popped up.

I did some sketching with pens and pencils one of the days that I was at the market, this helps to loosen out some cobwebs in the creative process. But I find things really start to develop when I start looking at fonts. Usually when doing a logo I head over to DaFont, and browse through a few hundred fonts, I download whatever ones feel right to me. I allow this stage to be really broad, I don't over think it, if it feels right for the mood of the business I save it. After that I write out the name in all the fonts in photoshop, after seeing a bunch of them together I can quickly eliminate ones that either look too similar of that I don't think are suitable.By this point I had narrowed it down to 10 fonts, 5 modern and 5 crafty.

Then I spent a few hours making quick sketches around these fonts, using different colours and formats. They were all done fairly fast, just laying down ideas really. We will be meeting as a group tomorrow evening, I'll show the committee members what I've done, and hopefully we'll narrow it down to two or three designs. I'll then go back and work on these a lot more, tweaking each design, trying out different font sizes, colours and layout to see what works best. Finally we'll have a vote on what logo looks best.

I only do a few logo designs per year, but they are fun. I'm pretty much self taught, so I'm not too sure what the normal process for designing a logo is, but this is what works for me.

Pin It

20 Feb 2012

What I'm Wearing: A Bow Blouse

I'm feeling a bit brave after my week of sickness. All last week I wore horrible but very comfy clothes, I couldn't wear a bra most of the time because of my tattoo, which I meant was wallowing in frumpsville. I woke up feeling human today and I wanted to wear something girly. 

I'm loving the bow blouses I've been seeing lately but I wanted to buy a good quality vintage one and not one on the high street. I was delighted when I found this royal blue/purple one at the Friday Flea Market, and because I'm a trader I got it for a bargain at only €6! These blouses do have the potential to be become boring conventional office wear, which really doesn't suit me. So I decided to do something a bit daring and dress in all one colour(apart from the fact that I don't have a blue belt of shoes). I find it pretty funny that I have to go to the bank today to sort out a business account for the shop, John thought I was dressing up for them!
Shoes: Black pumps from New Looks €8
Tights: Blue tights Pennies €3
Skirt: Pleated blue skirt with pockets Pennies €5
Belt: Free in a bag of clothes my sister gave me
Blouse: Purple bow blouse The Friday Flea Market €6

You Might Also Like:

Pin It

18 Feb 2012

Book Tales

Photo By Brendan Crowe
It's been really nice over the past while talking to customers about what they're reading, you meet lots of different types of people from all walks of life at a second hand book stall. At my craft stall I rarely had male customers, whereas with Bazaar Tales they are in the majority. Some people like to nod and say hi and browse for about 10/20 mins. Others like to get into a big in depth conversation about what they like to read, films made from books, comparisons, disappointing endings, and page turners that keep you up all night.

Even though I've been an avid reader since my mother a library card for me at the age of 4, I still feel like I've a million books to catch up on, there just aren't enough hours in the week. I read 'Hearts in Atlantis' recently and one of the characters gets an adult library card for his 12th birthday, it brought back lots of memories for me as the character realised what a fantastic present this was. I remember what a big deal it was to get my books from the adult section and to be allowed to pick what I wanted.

I've had some lovely moment at the stall when people find books that they've been looking for for ages. Or when kids come along with their parents and beg them for a few euro to buy a book, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. There was a teenage girl a few weeks back who spent about €25 on a bunch on Stephen King books, she went away looking like it was her birthday and Christmas all rolled into one.

Also because it's a book stall I can get away with reading at the market for the first time in 5 years! This makes me very happy. Two weeks ago I was a little hungover and I picked up Boudica and by the end of the day I was thoroughly stuck into it

Pin It

17 Feb 2012

Ouch My Tooth

Quaint and Curious- Anatomy Print $12
I've been really ill this week, I got an abscess because my wisdom teeth are going through a growth spurt. It is mind bendingly horrible pain, I thought I was going to lose my mind on Tuesday night, I couldn't sleep and even lots of Nurofen Plus wasn't taking the edge off the pain. Luckily when I rang the dentist as soon as they opened on Wednesday they were able to slot me in at 10am. It turns out I was very lucky I didn't leave it any longer, he said I was a hairline away from going to the hospital to get the antibiotics through a drip. Apparently if you leave something like that go it's very dangerous as you can get septicemia and die....who knew you could die from a tooth ache???

At the moment I'm on crazy strong medication that are making me pretty dopey, stringing sentences together is a little difficult(as is typing actually!) I picked out some weird and wacky tooth themed things from the land of the internet to celebrate my near death tooth ache, har har!
Sorry I couldn't find a source, but isn't it fabulous?
The Triangle of Bears- Mix and Match Colgate Earrings $6 per pair

Iron Fist Zombie Shoes
Denis Art-Female Dentist Sculpture $109
Triangle of Bears- Teeth Ring $4

Pin It

16 Feb 2012

The Girl With The Crafty Tattoos

I bit the bullet and I got my tattoo on Monday. As I mentioned last week I had a voucher for Bullman's Studio because I wanted Ulrich Hueber to do it, but it turns out that he is setting up his own place and doesn't work there anymore. He was really sound and slotted me in for a last minute appointment, which is better that I had less time to get nervous about it, considering what a wimp I am. As with my last tattoo I did lots of research on photos of the objects, drawing styles and tattoos of similar subjects. It turns out very few people get tattoos of pencil sharpeners!! I sent the below images on to Uli with a general description of the composition that I wanted and he came up with this beautiful design.

I'm so ecstatic with the result, the detail is above any beyond what I thought could be done in that space, it has millimeter marks and numbers on the ruler for feck sake!! Each time I look at it I'm convinced that the brush is my favourite bit, then I change to the pencil, and the pen...and so on. When it's all healed I'll get a proper photo of my two crafty tattoos together; the tools of my trade on my shoulders.

It took somewhere between and hour and a half and two hours, I'm happy that I didn't cry like a girl, but somewhere near the end I started to lose it a bit and I wanted to run away, but thankfully I held it together and didn't make an ass of myself. I have total respect for people who can do 6 hour sittings and get whole back pieces done. Either they are super human or they have no nerves. A friend of mine swears she really isn't bothered by getting tattooed, she can chat away easily and reads a book when she 'gets bored'. I'm obviously made of weaker stuff, but I love tattoos so I'm gonna keep getting them.

The images I gave to Uli as reference

I decided on the artist by doing a fair bit of research online. Facebook is really handy for that as most studios have tonnes of photos of previous work catagorised by artist. I had heard lots of good things about Uli but from the comfort of my own home I was able to look through hundreds of pictures and decide who's work suited what I wanted. There is no point in picking someone who is amazing at portraits if you want an abstract piece. Most artists specialise in an area and I looked for someone who did photo real object and had a strong level of drawing. Here are some examples of his previous work.

Uli has been working in Bullmans Studio for years but this week he is opening his own shop which will be called 'High on Ink'. I'm so impressed with myself that I figured out how to make a Google street view map preview that I'm posting the directions to his new place here. Ignore the fact that it says it's 39 Thomas St, it's not it's 31. It's on the top floor over Players and Dr.John's(my friend's new bar, which is pretty fantastic by the way!)

Uli is in the process of setting up his new website for the shop, I'll update this post with links as soon as the site is live.

View Larger Map

Pin It

13 Feb 2012

I Bought A Slow Cooker

Cannellini Beans and Sausages

My friends Branden and Mary-Rose have a slow cooker and they are obsessed with it, and kept nagging me to buy one. I really like the idea of bunging all the ingredients in a pot and leaving it for 6 hours, and at the end you have a delicious dinner that didn't really involve any work. I like cooking but like most people I'm pretty strapped for time, so a lot of my meals are quick and easy but not that exciting. I also fell into the trap of cooking the same 8/10 meals in rotation just because I can't think of anything new. Things improved a bit last year when I went on my detox as it forced me to change how I eat and how I think about food.
I found it hard to get healthy recipes, lots of them that I looked at used convenience food like canned soup and pre-made jars of sauce as their base, which to me defeats the purpose of making a healthy dinner as these foods are packed with salt, sugar, stabilisers and preservatives. I'll probably end up making up lots of my own recipes, and figuring it out as I go along. Don't worry if I invent something delicious I'll share it here with you guys. Here are the few that I found that were made from fresh ingredients.

Ps: I got my slow cooker in Tesco for just over €20

Beef Stew


Pin It

9 Feb 2012

Tattoo Envy

As you all know I'm addicted to Pinterest, on one of my boards I have a collection of yummy tattoos. I'm hoping to book in for my own tattoo in the next few weeks. I have the voucher already so I don't need to worry about the cost, and I also have the idea all worked out. But I'm just a weakling when it comes to pain so I've been putting it off, pathetic I know!!
Here are some of the tats I've been drooling over lately....

I love the old style of these flowers

I love that this looks like a college and not the cliche tattoo style

So delicate and beautiful
This is by Peter Aurische...I love his drawing style it's amazing
There is a weird part of me that wants a Pin-Up tattoo

I love the tattoo but I hate the placement
A pencil will be featured in my new tattoo
I love this but I think the text ruins it
I have no idea what the caption reads but I like the door

I hate when people say,'What will you look like when you're older?'....I think they look beautiful
Pin It

8 Feb 2012

'Jars' of Vintage Buttons

I've been busy with some buttons again. I've have endless boxes, jars, and baskets of odd buttons that don't match, I use them in lots of my projects but unless I intend on living 'til I'm 200 I don't think I'll ever get through them all. So I've decided to package them nicely and sell them. I used to sell odds and ends of buttons in plastic zip lock bags at my stall, but I think it took the tactile nature away from them. I wanted to show them off properly, and appeal to people who are mad about buttons.

I saw someone online had displayed their buttons on a card that looked like a jar and really like the idea. I stumbled upon this free printable of jars, and knew it was exactly what I was looking for. I printed it out and scanned it in again so I could work on the file in photoshop so that I could add my web address at the bottom. It's kind of time consuming sewing them all onto the card, as compared with popping them in a bag, but I think the difference is massive and it's worth the extra work. I'll be selling these in my supplies shop soon, when I get around to photographing and listing them.

Pin It

7 Feb 2012

I've Been Busy With Some Buttons

I've been buried in buttons over the past few days. I'm trying to build up lots of stock for the new co-op craft shop that we will be opening next month. It will a crazy balancing act trying to get things up and running, to get stock made, and to keep my market stall going all at the same time. But I have had to be Superwoman in the past before and I can do it again, I'm too excited about all this to give anything less that 110%.

Button Rings matched up and ready to be assembled

Button hair clips...I like when the postman brings me new supplies to play with

Button wine glass charms.....do you like my packaging?

I have thousands of buttons in my studio, I sell some but mostly I like making stuff with them. It gives me an excuse to take out my 'good button' boxes and sort/play with them. Finding the right colour in the right size is the main challenge to making work with buttons. It reminds me of playing with my box of Lego when I was a child, I never seemed to have a 'four piece' in the right colour, or if it was it was a flat instead of a brick. I'm pretty lucky that part of my grown up job reminds me of playing with Lego, sitting at a desk 40 hours a week certainly wouldn't bring back such fond memories.

Pin It

3 Feb 2012

Handmade Valentine's Day Cards

I've been busy making up a big batch of Valentine's cards this week. I found that lots of people last year asked me for specific cards like wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend. I picked up a great set of stamps earlier this year that has all the relative words on it for both sexes. I paired these with some love themed embellishments and papers to make up my recent set of cards. I also wanted to cater to making men's cards too without them being saccharine pink, so I went with some romantic browns/creams/blues, what do you think?

I'll be selling them at the bookstall this weekend for the usual €4 each or 3 for €10(in case you have 3 girlfriends/boyfriends!),or if you would like to buy them online just send me an email and I can sort itout for you. To see the full album please go to this facebook album.

Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...