Friday, 30 January 2009

Dancing Tonight

Here is something I was working on over Christmas and didn't want to post a picture of until I had actually given to the little man it was made for.
It's called Dancing Tonight, and it's for my little nephew Thomas, for his first Christmas. You can still see the Moomin influence like in the last piece I made.

I am deeply enjoying the process of working like this. I have a little tin I carry around with me that contains all I need. Scissors, thread and needle. And whatever little piece of blanket I am working on. I do a few stitches here and few stitches there. Sitting in my car waiting for the school bell to ring, or on the couch at the end of the day. Little by little they add up, to this. Eventually.

And my notebook is bursting with ideas for more...

The Sun Did Shine.

We had a sunny day this week, of which we made the most.

And now the stormy rains are blowing in, settling in for the weekend I fear.

Happy weekend to you all and may the sun shine for you!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Random Dream System.

For the last month Jay has had an exhibition on in the Lab gallery in Dublin. It's coming to a close this Saturday and tomorrow evening they are having a 'closing'. Jay will be in conversation about the show with one of his oldest friend's the artist Fergus Feehily. There will also be a sound improvisation by Anthony Kelly and David Stalling of Farpoint Recordings.

So if you are around Dublin tomorrow evening around 6, do pop in!

For more info check out the Lab page here. The show includes a group of paintings, in all, 36 small canvas works, created by 26 separate people. (Including me!)

I loved this idea right from the start, and again, I am so proud of Jay for the huge effort it took to get it to where it is today. It's amazing that he manages to keep the six of us, run a business, and make and exhibit his own work.

I'll say it again. I am so proud!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Some Days Are Just Quiet.

In times of struggle it is a wise woman who surrounds herself with allies, comrades and persons of cheerful disposition...

And a healthy dose of window shopping. Some of my finds which I will share with you tomorrow.

Sweet dreams!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Sorry for the recent hiatus. We've had no internet most of this week. It's been a strange pleasure... 
Hmm. What does that mean? 


Home is very much on my mind these days. 

We are blessed to be living in a heavenly place that is dear to our hearts. We wished for this place, many many years ago, Jay and I. Two young idealists in a caravan in Holland wishing for this exact place, though we didn't know it. I had three things on my list after where it would be, which was beside the sea in north Wicklow. I wanted a big garden, a big bathroom, and a fireplace. 

All these things, and many more we couldn't imagine, were granted to us, and we have been here twelve years now. Three of our babies were born in the sitting room. It is in our collective familial blood. Our own ghosts haunt us here in the tiny voices that are gone forever, the childish passions that have long been grown out of, a tiny remnant turning up in a box or pocket or bag, each time breaking my heart one more little piece at a time. 

And though now we are bursting the seams of this little house, and I sometimes tear my hair out over it, I cannot tear myself away from it. It is so very much a part of us. It is their whole lives, their memories, part of who they are.  

I never imagined a place could have such a hold on my heart. There is nothing that will ever take it out of me.
And each year, this time, when old, cold winter tightens it's grip for the longest time, and I feel myself falter and wish for something more, something better, I wake up feeling as though I have betrayed a dear old friend.

We truly are blessed. Look around us. How could we better this? And though maybe we might find ourselves moving on some day it will not be easy. It will break our hearts. 

But we have hope that there will be a solution to our growing problem of too many people and not enough space for each to grow and flourish as they should. The tiniest spark is all we need.

So while there is constant reviews and makeovers and rearrangements and plans, we are gradually achieving what we want. And there is plenty more to come. 
So I do think there may be a bit of an interiors theme here in my Something Lovely posts for a wee while. Bear with me! For some interior views of our little place have a look here and here, and maybe here.

And what about you?
What does home mean to you? Is it simply somewhere to close the door behind you at the end of the day? Somewhere to be grateful for no matter how short it falls of your ideal? Or is it something more? Something that goes deeper?

Monday, 19 January 2009

A Week Of Pictures. And More.

Early in the week, the last of the blue sky.

And then the freezing rain begins, we move inside reluctant to venture out. Interior days.

With lots of making and baking of one kind and another.

There was a double birthday to celebrate. A wonderful costume party hosted by our oldest friend's. Happiest Birthday blessings to John and Caroline. The birthday girl, seen below, stole the show. Most wonderfully. It was a night of many memories of similar gatherings before we all had children, and truly knew how to let our hair down.

Believe it or not but this picture below is me and Jay aka Bonnie and Clyde! It is the most bizarre thing to see a photo that you know is you but you don't recognise yourself in!  It was taken (and cleverly enhanced, no we didn't have the car!) by our marvelous babysitter/costumier/make-up artist and general enthusiast Lisa.
Thank you so much again!

There was music and singing and old friend's and new. And amazing effort, in the costume department, made by everyone.

Sunday then. A relaxing family day to recover, visiting my brother Chris and his  girlfriend Cliona in their lovely home. 
The food....! Oh my...

And now I'm ready to rest awhile...

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Something Lovely.

This week I have found tiny moments to take mental snapshots of fleeting moments in our daily life. I haven't rushed to get the camera at every opportunity. We've had some wonderful days and I have just allowed them to wash over me. There is a certain freedom in that which I am enjoying, and am grateful for. Already I find the camera creeping back into my hand and that's good too. I need the balance.

So I thought this might be an ideal time to get back to Something Lovely.

These prints are by Ashley Goldberg, and you'll find them in her Etsy shop here. Her work is sweet and lovely and winsome, and reminds me of certain childhood book illustrations that I loved.

This first one I might just have to buy. Maybe because it reminds me of Jay and me! It really does!

There is a certain melancholy to her work which appeals to me.

Check out her sweet blog Kitty Genius which also features her newly opened stall in an antique market in Portland OR where she lives. It's very cool and it makes me a teensy bit grr about how lame we are in this country when it comes to markets.
We're getting there I suppose!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009


Well, there I was thinking that the weekend away was my birthday present, as I floated around the exhibition on a light but thrilling breeze of sheer delight at actually being there, when Jay turned around and asked me which piece I liked...! Yes, I nearly fell over.
In some ways it wasn't hard to choose. This piece is a wonderful example of Julie Arkell's work that I first discovered a number of year's back. Endearing is the word that comes to mind generally around her work and no more so than her little rabbit people. On the whole, the entire show was so beautiful. Jessie Chorley's work was gorgeous too and is next on my list of heart's desires. Also showing were Cleo Mussi who made delightful ceramic mosaic figures, and Jeanette Orrell whose work is lovely delicate wire-work. See here for info on the show.

So I am one happy girl at the moment. And Jay has earned himself some serious credit!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

A Weekend Of Pictures.

So I'm back. Back here on the couch blogging, trying to keep warm, listening to little ones coughing in their sleep, wondering how it's possible that only yesterday I was in some other world?

We had a wonderful time. I got to do and see all that my heart desired, and more. The weather was perfect (for this time of year that is!) cold, clear and crisp with a scattering of snow on our last day. The only bad thing was Jay waking up on Sunday morning with the horrible flu My Only Girl had when we were leaving. Bless him though, it didn't stop him. And although it felt the whole weekend we took at a leisurely pace we actually fit in quite a lot. All thanks to clever hotel booking on Jay's part, and the brilliant Underground. The Smallest was a dream and was quite happy to be snuggled up in his buggy when out and about.

So in lieu of my Week of Pictures, here's some images from our weekend.

And tomorrow I will show you a picture of something very special...

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!