28 Jun 2012

Body and Soul Festival

Thanks Val for the photo!!
For the second part of my 30th birthday celebrations I went to the Body and Soul festival in West Meath over the weekend. There was loads of hassle in the week leading up to it with lack of lifts, selling my Friday add on ticket, and John's ticket being stolen two days before we were due to go. Eventually we got everything sorted, got lifts from lovely people, and magically got the stolen ticket back!

Body and Soul is a much smaller festival than Electric Picnic or Oxygen, it only has about 5000 tickets and is set in a forest beside a lake at Ballinlough Castle. Most of the features are handmade from wood from the forest, including the main stage. It has a very hippy-ish relaxed atmosphere, with a wide group of people from all ages, from 2 to 70 years of age. As much as I loved Electric Picnic the smallness of this festival really appealed to me as I felt the Picnic was getting too big and brash.

The forest is probably the nicest part of the festival, it gains it's own personality during the night when it is lit with beautiful coloured lights. The different areas of the festival are built around this space, with outside areas feeling like hobbit homes, filled with magical pieces of art. On the Saturday night the is a festival wide masquerade ball, as you can see form above I made a pink ad black felt mask. I didn't put the usual amount of effort into my costume as I normally do as because I was really busy with the party, but I'm glad I did something. I got the sequinned top at the barbootsale a couple of weeks before for only €6, and I wore it with my black tutu. John insisted that I bring the flamingo head from my Queen of Hearts costume because it matched so well, I lost it after about 2 hours!

There was very heavy rainfall in the week before which meant that the grounds were really muddy. It made the festival quite tough going, even getting to the bathroom was quite a chore from our tent. It felt like I had thighs of steel after all that wading through shin deep mud, funnily enough though it was easier to navigate after a few beers. But luckily enough the festival Gods shined down on us on Sunday and showered us with the most glorious sun all day.

I will definitely go again next year, but I would much prefer to go on Friday to get rid of the chores of the tent set up etc, as the weekend felt very fast. Musical highlights were Who Made Who, Django Django, and Villagers.

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27 Jun 2012

Tea Party, my 30th Birthday

You may have noticed my absence from the blog for the past week or so, this is because I turned 30 last Tuesday. Instead of having a mental breakdown because I'm no longer 21 I decided to have a civilised tea party during the day. I blame Pinterest for putting this idea in my head because of all the pretty girly cakes I see there.

I haven't baked since I was in my early teens, and even then I didn't really do much, I mostly just stood beside my mother and licked the bowl when she was done. But I like setting myself impossible challenges, so I decided to bake all the cakes myself, and to have lots of different types. After some obsessive research on Pinterest and an epic shopping trip I was ready to go. I baked:

Lemon Cheesecake: you can find the recipe here but I tweaked it by adding lemon jelly made with very little hot water( you don't need to add sugar then) and I added an extra tub of philadelphia. I must say I was delighted with the result, it was really fresh and lemony.

70 Plain Buns: I got the recipe from the Odlums website, for kids baking. I decorated them with different icing to vary the taste/display. Here are some links to icing recipes, I made toffee and chocolate ones. I also made butterfly fairy cakes too, you just use a blob of cream and jam, it brought back memories of every kids party I had ever been to.

Marshmallow Rice Krispie Cakes: These Rice Krispie cakes taste like the Rice Krispie Squares you can buy in the shop, I'm not the biggest fan of them but I know other people love them. I got the recipe from Pinterest, but after making all the other millions of cakes I ran out of time and ingredients to make icing for them. They are actually the most frustrating cakes to make as they were so sticky and difficult to handle. At one point I did scream 'I hate you, you ****ing evil devil cakes!', I will obviously never make them again! (I did have some mix leftover so I made a cake version and covered it with icing and strawberries,if nothing else it looked pretty on the table!)

Whoopie Pies: I cheated with these and bought a readymix box. Little did I know it takes pretty much the same amount of effort, next time I'll just make them myself.
Cucumber Sandwiches: It's obligatory to have white bread cucumer sandwiches with no crusts at tea party, I also made some egg sandwiches too.

Savoury Sandwiches: I got some yummy brown bread from the shop around the corner(Bobby Byrnes) and I put chirizzo, olives, rocket, tomatoes, and humous on them.

Vol-Au-Vonts: I bought the frozen pasty in tesco and just added my own filling, I figured I was elbow deep in cakes and that it was too much hassle to make my own pastry. I used various combinations of olives, humous, chilli jam, tomatoes, chirizzo, and mozzerella to fill them. 

Mini Pizza Rolls: I saw the recipe on Pinterest for these bite sized pizza rolls and thought they were perfect for the party. Mine were no way near as tidy but they were super tasty, the key is to make a lovely herb oil to baste them in.

Even though it was a tea party there wasn't much tea consumed, instead I served Pimms. This is a very traditional English garden party drink, closely associated with Wimbledon. It's an alcoholic drink that you soak in fruit overnight and serve on a hot sunny day with ice. Here is my recipe:

1 bottle of Pimms
2 large oranges
1 lemon
2 limes
1/2 cucumber
8/12 strawberries
1 fistful of mint

Leave to soak overnight. Then just before you serve add 2 litres of white lemonade or soda water and 1 litre of ginger ale. Add ice to your glass before serving. I served mine in a selection of mismatched old tea cups.

You may also notice the bunting in the background. I made this from wrapping paper which I got for €1.50 per roll. I then stapled the triangles onto ribbon. It was really quick to make tonnes of it to add some festive cheer to the party.

It was such a lovely day, the party was small enough that I was able to have a good old natter with everyone.  It was perfectly girly, exactly what I wanted! We brought the leftover cake to the pub that night where I met up with the rest of my friends who weren't able to make it to the daytime party. I really can't think of a lovlier way to have spent my day!

Yep that's me crying I'm laughing so much...it may have had something to do with the crazy amount of Pimms that was consumed!

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14 Jun 2012

Handmade Father's Day Cards

I just made up a new batch of handmade Father's Day Cards. I had some left over from last year that I've had on the stall over the past coupe of weeks, but with the weekend that's in it I thought it was a good idea to make some more.

As usual they are for sale at the Limerick Milk Market, they are €4 each or 3 for €10. To see a full album of images please go here.

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12 Jun 2012

Planning a Tea Party

Originally Pinned by Lana Bogunovich from Larritt Evans

I'm turning 30 next Tuesday and I decided yesterday that I would throw a tea party during the day before I meet the rest of my friends in the pub afterwards. The only bad thing is that it's a Tuesday and daytime so a lot of my friends are working, but I just wanted to do something fun and girlie during the day.

I'll be happy making the posh sandwiches but I'm not much of a baker so the cakes will be a bit of a challenge. My plan is to make it very pretty to distract from the fact that they may not be the best cakes in the world. The main point is that I try to pull off a grown up thing like a tea party, you know with me being 30 and all I have to try to be a lady, well at least for one afternoon.

I have lots of cute chintz cups already that I've been meaning to turn into pincushions, and I can get whatever else I need from charity shops. To get some inspiration I went hunting on Pinterest and found some amazing ideas, I will definitely be making the strawberry Rice Crispie cakes as I think even they are within my baking abilities.  

Originally Pinned by Debbie Scott from Disney Family

Originally Pinned by Kimberly Lane from Style Unveiled

Originally Pinned by Natalie Rudzinske from The Pretty Blog

Originally Pinned by Wendy Foster from Go City Girl

Originally Pinned by Teresa B K from Babble

Originally Pinned by Austin Boatwright from Tea Traditions

Originally Pinned by Lori Griffin from Sweetopia

Originally Pinned by Kathy Stephens from Robin Leigh
Original Pinned by Deb Reineck from Dirty Laundry

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11 Jun 2012

Illustrated Cards Giveaway

This is just a little note to let you know that Pretty Far West is very kindly hosting a giveaway of my cards on her blog. There are two sets of 5 cards to be won by two lucky winners, all you have to do is go over to this post and leave a comment. Easy peesy!
I would recommend having a nosy around her blog while you are at it, she has the prettiest house ever, and blogs quite often about the lovely things she finds. But nicest part is her acerbic writing style, I'm put off by a lots of design blogs because the writing is so flat. Whereas on Pretty Far West you get giggles and nice things to look at too.

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8 Jun 2012

Etsy Shop Makeover

I've been doing a bit of rejigging on my Etsy shop lately. I go through fits and stages with my love hate relationship with the shop, it doesn't make me much money, so I don't want to waste valuable time on it, but at the same time I know it's worth having. I got around to listing all of my illustrated cards, including some new ones, as I will be having a giveaway on Pretty Far West in the next week or so, don't worry I'll let you know about it.

While I was doing this I passed my critical eye over the rest of the shop and saw that my banner was really out of date and didn't reflect the rest of my online platforms. I waved my Photoshop wand and fixed that in the vain hope that it will bring me the millions I've been daydreaming about. I then made a decision to deactivate all of my pocket mirror listings and replace them with one generic any design listing. I then edited all of my badge listings to include a link to this mirror item. It seemed like a waste of money to keep both items listed in my shop at all times. It also means that I'll be more likely to post more badge designs if I know I don't have to pay for it twice.

I also got a large badge part delivery with means I was able to reactivate my listing for 20 badges for €20, which are really popular as party favours, mostly hen parties. It's getting back into hen party season again and I'm really glad that I designed this catalogue of designs last year as it has really lessened my work load. I just need to spread the word about this a little more, another thing to add to my infinite to-do list!

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7 Jun 2012

My Return to The Milk Market

My craft stall has returned to the Milk Market at long last! Since Christmas, and especially since I started organising the Limerick Craft & Design shop, I lessened my work load by doing my Bazaar Tales bookstall at the market. It made life a lot simpler, but there was a large part of me that really missed doing crafts. But as of two weeks ago I'm doing my Nice Day Designs stand on Sundays.

It's great to get feedback again, and it's lovely to see some of my regular customers coming back. Sunday is still a fairly quiet day at the market, but they are making efforts to get more traders and they have also started doing Tai Chi for only €2 every Sunday(12-1pm). This week there will be a flower show with lots more stands, and hopefully the crowds will come down too. If my delivery of badge parts arrives then I will also be doing badge making with the kids(big and small). This works very well on event days in the market as a lot of families come down. Kids can draw their own picture and I make it into a badge for them, then and there(it's €3 for one or 3 for €6)

Here are some pictures of the new stock that I've been working on over the past few months.

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6 Jun 2012

What I'm Wearing: Monochrome Charity Shop Find

It's been a while since I did an outfit post; I been lazy with blogging and lazy taking photos, tut tut. But I had to show you this amazing jacket that I picked up in a charity shop recently for only €10! It's one of those loose shapeless designer jackets that look great with a belt. It really reminded me of my friend Cecily when I saw it, she wears these all the time. I love the asymmetry of it, and the neckline can be worn a numbver of ways. It can be worn open too, but to be honest I think I'm too short and curvy to get away with that.

 Please ignore how awful I look in this second photo, I just wanted to show what I was wearing underneath. I love matching monochrome patterns with a splash of colour. This yellow t-shirt is backless, so you could see the red and white stripes through the back.

I always have to remind myself to wear my own work, it's like I take it for granted. But I thought this Polaroid ring went really well with the monochrome with a splash of colour look that I was going for.( I sell these at my stall on Sundays for €5 each)

I'm in love with my new shoes! My friend Jasmine from the market(she makes amazing skincare products, go like her page!) did a swap with me. She had these Doc Marten dolly shoes that she was never able to break in properly, and I had 8 hole Docs that were too narrow for me. I love swapping, it means getting amazing stuff for free while getting rid of unwanted stuff.

Skirt:Blue skirt with pockets €5 Pennies
T-Shirt: Yellow backless t-shirt €7 Pennies
T-Shirt: Red and white striped t-shirt €5 Dunnes
Shoes: Free from Jasmine!!
Jacket: Charity shop(Mrs.Quinn on William St) €10
Brooch: One of my own €10, I thought it brought the yellow red and grey together really well.
Ring: Also a Nice day Designs creation, €5
Necklace: button necklace I got at the barbootsale for €1
Belt: red belt that I'm addicted to wearing €3 Pennies

You might also like the What I'm Wearing Series

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