Thursday, 31 July 2008

Abundance Abundance Abundance!

Well, what an amazingly wonderful few days I have had. Jimmy-the-postman must be rolling his eyes at this stage at the thought of having to make his way down our lane with yet another parcel. (I secretly believe that he holds onto our post until there is enough between the few houses here to make the trip!)

First to arrive a few days back was this beautiful print by Rima over in The Hermitage. I am surprised that I chose this one and not one of her illustrations when buying my first one of her prints, but I found it very difficult to choose! I'll just have to go back for more.

I didn't realise it was a quote from Roald Dahl, who is a great favourite in our house. You can click on the image to see it better.

Then, what should arrive in our little wooden box on the doorstep but these gorgeous measuring ducks, all the way from Buenos Aires. Yes Marta, we will always think of you and Sam when we make our muffins! Thank you!

And then, I get a lovely message from Sarah over at Little Paper Bird that I had won a prize! Wooo! And what should arrive promptly in the post but one of her beautiful handmade notebooks. And I can tell you it really is simply beautiful.

Doesn't that all add up to a very satisfying week of abundance?

Yes, I thought so. But the icing on the cake? It gets even better! Late last night I got news that I have finally, at last, become an Aunty for the first time! Yippee! If you could see the smile on my face!

Baby Thomas was born late last night to my brother Andrew and his wife Fiona.


And congratulations to you both! The fun starts here!

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Something Lovely.

Well, although the sun peeked out briefly this afternoon, the rain has returned with determination. I love the rain. I love perfect clear-blue days of sunshine too. But I love the fact that the weather in Ireland can jump seasons overnight. I appreciate both. And it often feels as though we have more summers and more autumns because of this. I've learned to not complain about the weather. I've learned to love it. Just so long as there is variety!

So, the rain nudging it's way into our summer days has brought on itchy fingers that I usually associate with autumn. I find the summer months are slow in terms of making, simply because we are out and about so much. So the autumn brings a burst of creativity. But the last couple of days have found us all picking up some little bits and pieces that were laid aside for cooler weather. Middle Son was inspired by these baby stitches that The Eldest did when he was not much older. So we have embarked on a little project together which I hope to show you soon.

So, as I sit listening to the rain pour down, even though it's warm enough to need the window open, I do find myself drawn to cosy things. And I wanted to share these wonderful cushions I found today over at Nonchalant Mom.

Aren't they great? I can just picture where they would sit perfectly in our house.

Do take a look at their website for more beautiful things, as well as parenting tips.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

A Perfect Day

It was.

And spent on another childhood haunt, Silver Strand.

And then, as the sun set tonight, thunder rolled in and lightening lit up the skies, and the heavy fug of evening became ever more dense and oppressive until the heavens opened and it all was swept away in a downpour that was short and sharp and sweet.

Sitting in the quiet house now the air feels lighter. The sea more quiet. And the birds are still singing their midnight serenade. Time for cool sheets and sleep methinks.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Where Our Hearts Collide.

I am basking in the glow, not of this wonderful warmth and sun we finally have, but of the timeless joy I am getting from our days outdoors, as I mentioned on Tuesday. I am keeping it close as we draw to the halfway point in the school holidays.

When we got back from the beach on Tuesday, I couldn't stop thinking about how I had felt whilst sitting there on the sand watching the children play. Isn't it wonderful that some things never lose their magic, their lustre? It's like finding a beautiful pearl in amongst the glittering baubles in the little box of my life. 'Oh! I had forgotten this! Look! It's still here!' And now I have these little people to share it with, and yet it is already a normal part of our summer days.

Below is a picture taken in 1977, on the same beach, Brittas Bay. From left, there's my sister Emma, my older brother Andrew, Chris, and me. I think I'm right in saying that Simon was probably about a month old so that's why he doesn't feature!

And as I came in the door on Tuesday evening, fresh from the beach, I went straight to the bookshelf and pulled out our copy of this book which was one of my favourites growing up.

It's one of Marcel Marlier's books called 'Johnny and Sophie at the Seaside', and I loved it because in my head it was Brittas Bay, and that was me (oh how I wished I looked like Sophie!) running up the sand dunes. It was especially beloved on a winter's evening by the fireside, just like the beginning of the book.

I'm not sure what happened to the original one I had, but somewhere along the way my Dad picked up this copy in Irish!

And so the wheel turns. The circle of life goes round. And I get to see it through the eyes of a child once more, and I truly am transported.

And I give thanks, for I am blessed.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Something Lovely.

I recieved an email from lovely Marta today, with an article about the wonderful textile magazine, Selvedge magazine. I am just a sucker for anything textile-y and earthy and warm, and this is packed full of just such items. Below are just a few favourites I spotted.

This beautiful work apron and skirt by Fog Linen.

Gorgeous cushions and blankets by Jonathan Adler.

These stunning felt hats by Angelika Klose. I can't decide which one I love best and am thinking one for each head in the house... well maybe not at £70 each, but one can dream.

And these. Oh my, Marta you know how to get straight to my heart. These are simply perfect. Perfect...
Sophie Digard baby and coyote.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Days Of Summer

What is it about these days of summer that are so heart-breakingly familiar,
like some long-forgotten, lost day that belonged to me
when I was small.
Now somehow, magically transfered to these small people who populate my day,
who take my hand and run with me through the sandunes of my childhood,
who remind me to look up at the clouds,
who show me that all of this is still here.

A sunlit day,
a garden filled with daisies,
the sound of their laughter amidst the waves,
a little stone or leaf or flower that finds it's way into my pocket.

Peel away the cobwebs and the sparkle is there

as it always was.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

A Week Of Pictures.

Mural To Mosaic

I'd like to share with you something that Jay is doing. It's the work he does instead of painting for endless hours in his studio, the work that pays the bills, the work that meant we could have one more baby. And even though I know he would rather be in his studio, I also know he loves doing this too.

In 1987 himself and his friend John won a competition to paint a 80 metre long mural in the DART (train) station in Bray. It's still there, just about, and has become something of a landmark. Being beside the sea though is not very paint friendly, so they recently came up with a plan to render it in mosaic. After a year of planning and fundraising, they finally got a start on it and the first panel went up last month. And I finally got to see it yesterday when we got the DART to Bray for the festival.

This is one of the painted ones waiting to be mosaiced. (Is that a word?)

They're doing a blog about the whole project, which you can see here, as well as better photographs, and there is also a documentary being made about it!

I am so proud to see this coming together for them after all the hard work, and I can't wait to see it finished!

Edit: You can also see some work-in-progress photos of this project, as well as other work they do over here.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

All The Fun Of The Fair

Today, in Bray, at the fair.

It's finally starting to feel a bit like summer...

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Something Lovely.

Now for something completely different.

I am completely in love with these Tassel Lights by Rothschild & Bickers. I came across them whilst looking for something else.

Do have a look at their site for some more truly stunning pieces. They don't give prices so it's up our imagination!

I am blown away.

Dancing To The Music

This is what I love about school holidays. We have time to dance in the kitchen to lovely happy songs like this one!

And All The Rest Too.

Well, lovely Cliona has taken some great (that means proper!) photos of the Animal Parts which will be up on the Big Softee website very soon.

In the meantime, here they are posing for nice little group shot.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Mood Clouds

So, I'm finally finished. I love that feeling when you are on the right side of a deadline.

I did the last bit of hand finishing this morning, bagged them and delivered them to Chris. It was only when I got home did I realise I hadn't taken any pictures! So I'll have to wait for Chris to send some to me. Some of them are the same designs as last time, with a few new ones, including these little fluffy cloud-pillows which I did take a picture of. Each one has a sad and a happy face, one on each side, depending on your mood!

And what's all this for? Well, there's a great new shop opened in Temple Bar in Dublin, called Versus? which is in Smock Alley. For more information on the whole venture have a look over here.

It's having an official opening launch tomorrow evening, so if you're in the area...

Last Night

Last night: one of those nights where I got my second wind at about eleven pm, after wilting seriously around dinner time.
And then.
The machine clattered relentlessly like a demonic train.

And in the pauses: Late night radio.
roots music
low measured voices
slow country accents
soothing, careful,

And through the open window
the cooling air
creeping in,
away from the blue clouds in the dying light.

A curlew calls.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

The Sun. At Last.

Finally, the sun came for a visit...

Off to the beach they go. Giving me some space to try and get my sewing done. You should see the chaos surrounding me...!


Oh, now this is something I can't wait for! This autumn, Bob Dylan is bringing Forever Young out as a children's book!

"May you always do for others, and let others do for you,
May you build a ladder to the stars, and climb on every rung."

What a cool idea!

A Week Of Pictures.