30 Oct 2012

Cough Cough, Sniffle Sniffle!

I'm a really bad sick person, I moan all the time, and make sure to tell everyone that I'm sick(in case they wouldn't have guessed by my Cathleen Turner voice). I know it's youngest child syndrome, I expect everyone to lavish attention on me, and that me being sick is the end of the world for everyone not just me. I've spent a lot of this weekend and yesterday in bed or attached to the sofa, sporadically bewailing 'ugh' 'my nose' 'le sigh', which I would never do by myself, it's really quite pathetic!

But really seriously I am quite sick at the moment, but I'm going down to the shop now to do some barcoding and wrap things up so we can open in the next couple of days(exciting-sniffle, sniffle!) Make sure to pop over to the website so you can drool over the pretty things that we will have!

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23 Oct 2012

I'm Afraid of the 'C' Word

The Christmas panic has set in over the past two weeks or so. Logically I know I have a tonne of work that should already be made for Christmas. But have I even started yet? No! How did this happen again? I feel paralyzed by how much work I have stacked up on front of me. I know I've been up to my proverbial eyes, tonsils, and what ever else with organising the shop, but somehow I falsely imagined being able to get more done. I say out loud 'I know I'm not super woman' but to be honest in my head I always think I can squeeze more time if I try harder. Now I think I've wrung myself out, and it's not even November yet. Whenever I feel like this I always think of that bit at the start of Lord of the Rings when Bilbo says to Gandalf that he feel like butter that has been scraped too thin over a piece of toast.

There are external warning signs that things are well and truly heading toward a cataclysmic warp core breach. My room looks like the bedroom of a 19 year old male student, I have no clean clothes, I leave it to the last possible day to do laundry, then I'm reduced to sporting fashion disasters just so I leave the house with clothes on. My studio is filled with bags of stuff that I've been meaning to sort out for ages, either materials, half finished work, and random odds and ends. I'm eating terribly, I'm not thinking about dinner until I'm starving, and then I snarf down something unhealthy and tasteless. I'm constantly walking around with a to do list tattooed onto the inside of my eyelids, there is no escaping it, and it develops a loud voice when I'm trying to get too sleep. My ability to form sentences in conversation that relate to each other in a logical fashion is dwindling by the day. Mostly I finish half way through a thought and look pleadingly at the other person saying 'you know what I mean?'.

My kitchen table is like forensic evidence of my life over the past couple of weeks, things don't get tidied away, just pushed to the side in a hurry. Apparently doctors who work with people who suffer from hoarding describe a thing called clutter blindness that we all have to a certain degree. Know that mess of old magazine in the corner that you don't see for days/weeks on end until your mother in law calls around and then suddenly you can see it again? Well people who are chronic hoarders don't really see their mess, and to a lesser degree we all develop this blindness to help us continue in our everyday lives. My level has stepped up quite a few nothches. I get flashes of vision now and then, and I just put my head down and ignore it.

I want to put everything on pause and run away for about 2 weeks, then come back bursting with enthusiasm. It's not that I'm not looking forward to the shop opening and the Christmas Season, I just wish I was more prepared. In a lighter note this is my 700th post, thanks everyone for reading and commenting!

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19 Oct 2012

Illustrated Cufflinks

 These are my new range of shrink plastic cufflinks! I'm so in love with them!

I've been meaning to make more men's pieces for a while now, especically in the run up to Christmas. I got the parts ages ago, but between one thing and another I only got around to making them last week. At the moment I only have 10 sets of them,but I suspect they will be popular at Christmas so I really need to order more parts. It was fun coming up with more masculine designs, and I've had loads more ideas since I finished these.

They are €10 per pair and they come in a little presentation box. I will be selling these in Limerick Craft & Design when we open shortly,and when I get more stock I'll post them on Etsy and put them on my stall too.
To see a full album of images head over to this Facebook album here.

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18 Oct 2012

Halloween (P)inspiration

Last night in the pub the discussion naturally flowed around to Halloween and we would be dressing up as, thankfully my friends are as nuts as me about making stupidly complicated costumes. You might remember from last year my epic construction of my Klingon costume, or The Queen of Hearts from the year before. I swore last year that I wouldn't do something complicated this year, that I would do something comfortable, and was easy to go to the bathroom in(a major problem with all of my previous efforts). I don't know if I can let my ego do something simple, the last thing I want to be on my favourite holiday of the year is disappointed  with myself. I know I'm up to my eyes at the moment trying to get everything organised with the shop, so I really should be sensible, but hey when is that ever fun??
Here is some inspiration I've been looking at on Pinterest.

I've never watched Doctor Who(I know it's something I'll get crazily addicted to!) but apparently this is from it. I just think it's a kickass statue costume!
I'm loving the whole steampunk thing, and I'm leaning towards this direction. I saw this great skirt tutorial last year and it kind of stuck in my head. Also mix that we these amazing shoes below and I may be onto a winner!

Apparently this is a mold not a costume, but if you divided the base then it would be possible to walk. John would love this!

 I love this idea, and have total respect for someone who can stay out all night inside a box!

So what are you dressing up as this year?
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13 Oct 2012

Handmade Civil Partnership Cards

I had some request recently for Civil Partnership cards. These are my first four designs, and I'll definitely make more as there was a really positive response when I posted one of these pictures on Facebook. Anyone who has ordered one before from me said it's nearly impossible to find them let alone get a nice handmade one.

I'm pretty low on wedding style papers, so after I restock I make a larger range of these cards. Obviously I'll need to make all my own designs for the central image as it's not something you can buy off the shelf in a card supplies shop. I want to design a range of both fun and elegant cards.

I don't normally sell my handmade cards online as it adds a lot of extra work for not much return, but I would be tempted with these as I feel there would be a bigger demand for them there rather than at the market.

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12 Oct 2012

How-To: Box Covering

Do you remember I mentioned that I ordered boxes for my button cluster necklaces that were way too small? Well I ordered new ones which are the perfect size, but the wrong colour, so not one to shy away from a little extra work I decided to cover the boxes in wrapping paper. Or rather the little OCD voice in my head wouldn't allow myself to leave them plain card and not matching the other boxes. So armed with a scissors, wrapping paper from Pennies and A LOT of double sided tape I covered 12 jewellery boxes(btw I get my double sided tape in the €2 store, don't attempt this at home if you are paying the normal ridiculous price from a craft shop).

After doing the first one I worked out a system. Firstly cover two of the long sides(if rectangular) with tape, bringing the strips around the corners by about an inch. Then do four strips on the underside of the box. Also put four strips on the inside lip of the box too. Now your box is prepped. 

Cut out a piece of light wrapping paper that is at least 2 1/2" bigger on all sides. Remove the backing from the tape and place firmly face down on the reverse of the paper.

Make a cut in the paper that run parallel to the longest side of the box, repeat this for the four corners. What you should be left with are two long strips either side that you can fold up and two smaller ones in the middle.

Trim the edges of these longer strips by about an inch on all four sides. Then remove the backing for your tape on the one of the long sides of your box. Delicately fold up the paper, you are left with two tabs either side that can be folded around the corners to go onto your overlap of tape. Repeat this step on the opposite side.

Now remove the tape from the inside of the these side panels. Because my box was quite shallow I didn't need to make any cuts in the paper, I was just able to fold them down.

You are now left with the two side panels. Just add some double sided tape to the two edges, and fold up repeating the last two steps above.

If the bottom part of your box is visible you can cut out an insert of paper to go inside to cover the last panel, just tape in with double sided tape.

Repeat all the above parts of the tutorial for the lid of your box, and hey presto you have a pretty box. This seems like a lot of work the first time you do it, but you find yourself getting into a rhythm pretty quickly.

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10 Oct 2012

Un_Noted Online Marketing Workshop Tomorrow

Tomorrow I will be doing a workshop/lecture on creating an online identity in the Belltable ad part of the Un_Noted series of professional practice workshops. When I saw the event on Facebook I thought it was a fantastic idea to give this series, as it was an area that terrified me when I finished college. There was a real lack of information about what to do when you got out into the real world. Un_NOTED.

My workshop starts at 1pm, and if you are interested in going please contact Orlaith Treacy for booking info, it's only €5 to attend! I will be talking about the importance of Blogging, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, for the first half. Then people can have a Q&A where they can pick my brain for technical info.

Here is the press release:
Occupy Space presents:

Un_Noted Professional Development Workshops are a series of workshops aiming to provide the practical tools required to work as a professional artist in a competitive art environment.
Serving as a bridge between the culmination of fine art education and the professional art community as well as being a resource for those further along in their career, we will begin with a workshop by curator Kate Strain covering topics such as the various formats of an artist C.V. and creating an artist statement. The following workshops will then progress into discussing areas such as web presence, preparing submissions and applying for residencies.
These workshops seek to provide practical information about the opportunities and resources available to artists. They will also provide opportunities to interact with a variety of individuals across the art community from established artists, curators and those involved in art education. The workshops will be a platform for discussion of the provision of professional development for artists and the changes that should be made in this respect.
The workshops will commence on the 4th of October from 1pm until 2:30pm each Thursday in the Belltable Arts Centre running for eight weeks with a break of one week after the first four, recommencing on the 8th of November in Ormston House. Entry fee is €5 per workshop, €15 for 4 workshops, concessional rate €3.50 per workshop, €12 for 4 workshops when student card is produced.
Please email un.noted.occupy.space@gmail.com to book a place as numbers are limited.
Project Managed by Aimée Lally, Alicia Lydon and Orlaith Treacy.

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8 Oct 2012

Button Necklace and Earring Sets

I'm really delighted with these new sets. They came about in a strange way though. I bought these boxes for my button cluster necklaces, but I was obviously suffering from a brain fog the day I ordered them because when they arrived they didn't fit. Not one to waste money or supplies I knew I had to make something new to fit in these pretty boxes.

I have been making the necklaces for a while but I've never made this style of earring before. They are more difficult to make than the necklaces as it involves search for 9 matching buttons; 3 for each piece. This may sound simple but all my buttons are mismatched, so it's quite time consuming. Even though I have thousands of buttons left I'm fast running through my supply of bright matching buttons of this size. I made 12 sets, but I'm positive I'll make more after I restock in supplies, I'd say these will be popular as gifts for Christmas; there are a lot of fellow button addicts out there.

Again sorry for the dodgy photos, it would have been nice to shoot these on a model, but time is precious at the moment.

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7 Oct 2012

Fundraiser in The Blind Pig

We've organised a fundraiser for Limerick Craft & Design, we are really near to opening but we just need a little boost at the end to help us with the finishing expenses. Not only have we got the fantastic Jeff Lambert DJ-ing, and live music from Mark O Connor we also have a pop culture table quiz. We'll also have a raffle, quiz prizes and finger food! How fantastic does all that sound? I say pretty spiffing!

It will be held in Dr.John's and The Blind Pig on 31 Thomas Street, on Wednesday 10th of October from 8.30pm onwards. We really need your support, so if you can't make it yourself then please share the event on Facebook to help spread the word!

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6 Oct 2012

Featured Artist: Olann

This is the second part in my featured artist series for the shop Limerick Craft & Design. Olann's hats are made by the lovely Irene, I met her through her sister Diane who is a photographer and own the studio Angles. I completely fell in love with these hats when I saw them online, and last week when she delivered them I couldn't believe that they could look better in real life, but they do. I need a wedding to go to so I can buy one!

Here is some of here blurb:
Wherever possible they hand stitch all the hats and avoid the use of glues or any other chemicals to ensure that the hats have both environmental and fashion integrity.

All Olann’s hats and accessories are inspired by the 1920’s to 1950’s – when hats were the height of chic.  In keeping with this era, they try to create stylish and sophisticated pieces which have a timeless quality; believing that hat wearing will once again become a statement of understated style.

Most of otheir hats and accessories are individual, one-off pieces which have a vintage character with a contemporary twist.  The uniqueness of each creation comes not only from the sculptural shapes but also from the embellishments which are carefully selected vintage brooches and buttons, ribbons and feathers.

Relevant Links

Etsy // Facebook

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