Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Talking about cakes......

and seeing that it's tea time.
Check these out.

These are made by Fidelma Larkin of Just Devine Fine Foods which is based in Gort, Co. Galway.
If you're feeling peckish and want to try something new she can be contacted on 087 - 6506683.
The stall was so busy that it took me a wee while to take decent photos. It didn't seem quite polite to elbow customers out of the way in order to get a better angle (the thought never crossed my mind......honest).

Funnily enough, it was after taking these shots that I felt the need to go and have lunch :)

Nappy Cakes

How's that for an unusal title in a craft blog, hmmm?

I kid you not though. I've seen nappy cakes and not the kind made by an overly tired parent deluded into thinking they were together enough to bake while only having snatched 20 minutes of sleep over the course of the night. (I remember what sleep deprivation does, don't think it's not possible).

No, these are "bouquets" chock full of practical goodies for those in the family way.

I must admit, while I noticed them and thought them cute, I did pass the stall by after a somewhat cursory glance. However, my friend was not content to let these creations pass me by in such a manner (or maybe that should be the other way around). I got nigh on hauled back to the stall by my enthusiastic friend (he was actully bouncing by this point. He's about to be an uncle so that's why the mega bouncy enthusiasm. :) ).
I'm glad (if still rather bemused) that he did. The products on offer are dotey.
As their website notes, a lot of hospitals no longer allow flowers on the ward, so these bouquets make a lovely alternative option.

Lisa & Amy of The Nappy Cake Factory

For more information here are the contact details:

Lisa 087 - 6407966 Amy 087 - 9591479

E-mail: thenappycakefactory@eircom.net


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Buying Handmade Gifts

If you're like me, and less like the ever organised Marian, you may love the idea of giving handmade gifts this year, but with the best of intentions find that you can't quite handmake all of them yourself. Or you may find that the craft that you are most comfortable creating gifts with isn't quite what the recipient will be over joyed about. Some ages and stages are notoriously difficult to buy for. I am predominantly a knitter. My daughter can take or leave knitwear at this point. The dramatic layering of fabric though, accompanied by appropriate accessories including belts, bags and jewellery, now that will get her attention. Now while I can sew.....let's just say it would be more effort than the results may be worth, especially at this time of year.

So this is partly why I'm doing this string of posts. When I got to the craft fair a number of people popped into my head in terms of gifts that were just perfect for them. I would quite happily have instantaneously transported a few people there and given them free reign at the stalls knowing that they could chose something that they would be delighted with. I'm one of those folks who has no problem turning up with the cash as long as the recipient has a gift which makes them smile. I don't need the glow that comes from knowing in advance the perfect gift to get. My ego is sound enough to deal with the fact that sometimes I am just CLUELESS. Next year some folks are going to be brought with me and told to go feast their eyes and when I find that they are particularly taken with something then I'll cough up the cash. Sorted.

Now back to my daughter. My delightful Tween (not quite child and not quite teen) knows her own mind. Which is fabulous, apart from the fact that said mind is liable to change faster than a chameleon can change its colour to suit its environment. I'm a fast knitter but not even I can keep up with how her tastes change. So, it was with some relief that I was able to keep the pledge to buy handmade and side step the creating by getting her a rather nifty clutch purse from one of the vendors.

I'm also happy about the fact that I bought Irish and handmade, and in doing so am supporting an artisan who is based in the island of Ireland and who will go on to buy more materials and create more 'Made in Ireland' items. Never mind the doom and gloom about recession and the dozing Celtic Tiger. I'd much rather concentrate on the good I can do with my income. Right now I'm thinking I did good. :)

Bye for now.

Nenagh Christmas Craft Fair Part Two

As promised in my last post we now move on to the bling!

At her stall Anita let me in on the secret that her husband is also a capable jewellery maker and contibuted to the array of pieces on offer (...but ssshhh! it's a secret ;) )

The selection of jewellery available from this crafty pair runs the gamut from pieces to adorn everywhere from your earrings to your wrists and quite possibly even your ankles.

From small and understated pieces

To larger statement pieces

Anita & her husband tending to their customers

As is well known amongst those in the know, we crafters tend to indulge in more than one craft when our time and resources allow (and if they don't we've been know make them). This lovely lady also paints.

Examples of Anita's artwork

As is always the case, the best people to ask about what they do are the artisans and crafters themselves. So here's their business card for you.

What I think is a particularly cool idea is that they can arrange jewellery parties. Just picture it. You could bring that top you know needs accessories and be sure that whatever pieces you get at the jewellery party will suit your needs without any guesswork. Sweet!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Nenagh Christmas Craft Fair Part One

Hey there crafty folks,

What did I get up to over the weekend I hear you say?

Well, Saturday morning saw myself and one of my best mates boarding a bus for Nenagh, Co. Tipperary for a weekend getaway in the Abbey Court Hotel. As I'm known for my crafty inclinations by all who even slightly know me, my work colleagues gave me the head's up that there was a craft fair due to take place in the hotel on Sunday. Locals read about it here.

First thing on our to do list, once we got to Nenagh and after we sated our appetities, was to find the Abbey Court. Happy to wander and see what there was to be seen, we first, of course, went the wrong way. Happily enough a sign let us know that the 'to Dublin' direction of the N7 was tback he way we had come.

:Cue about face:

So on we strolled and another sign assured that we were now indeed travelling in the right direction. Happy days! Next thing I know I'm talking to thin air as my mate had made a beeline across the road to the below pictured Ye Olde Irish Shoppe.

Ye Olde Irish Shoppe

Blogger that I am I of course I took pictures of what had caught his interest.

Ancient Irish Flakes of Corn!

He craned his neck and squinted through the condensation to note that the closing date of the competition referred to on the Cornflakes box was February 1994!

(Well, maybe not ancient exactly, but close enough considering that both of us were about 15 years old at that point).

Vintage Cornflakes circa 1994

And yes, gentle readers, we are both easily amused.

Considering this is a craft blog I shall move swiftly along, once I make another digression and point your attention to the view we were treated to on Sunday morning.

A crisp frosty morning on the Abbey Court grounds

It's one of those views that's even better for the fact that the viewer is ensconced in a lovely warm room.

Now crafts.

Craft nerd that I am, this was actually the highlight of my weekend. Yes, I know, three star hotel, pretty grounds, friendly staff and good food notwithstanding, the craft fair is what had me up and bouncing on that cold and frosty morning.

Now keep in mind that there were around 60 stands at the craft fair and patient as my readers are with my meandering ways, I'm not going to reference all 60 in this post. That said, I really wish I'd budgeted to do my Christmas shopping at the fair because there really was something for everyone represented. From art prints to Fair Trade foods, aromatherapy to wood worked delights, jewellary to Nappy Cakes (yes, that's spelled right, more on those later) and everything in between. If it was Irish and handcrafted, you could find it here. There was also an Eastern European cross stitch and wood work stand but unfortunately (although happily for the fair) the volume of folks milling about made taking pictures & business details challenging at times.

First up I give you baskets.

There were an array of different designs and if I had snapped a sample of each this blog would have to be retitled to Basket Appreciation Head. There was the cutest Moses basket, along with pretty lamps and different sized hampers and sorters. A haven for the new householder looking for a change from plastic containers and mass produced generic.

Patsy Cahill Basketry

Patsy Cahill Basketry

I think the smaller baskets pictured above would look lovely on a kitchen countertop or (in my craft room) to hold craft notions. Patsy is in the process of getting a web page together. Until then he can be contacted on patsycahill@eircom.net .

My next post will be about Hand Crafted Jewellery.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Today I remember.....

That it's World AIDS Day.

I remember with love and affection the lovely man who was the first person I met through Rainbow Support Services.

I remember his smile and kind patience as I enthusiastically bounced around the project. So happy to finally be able to access a safe space.

I remember when he told me he wasn't feeling well and to ignore his crankiness and that it was nothing that I had said or done.

I found this here.
Thank you "Knit Happens"

I remember when he told me that he had AIDS and that he'd lived longer than he'd expected to.

I remember crying at a house party months after he had passed away.

I'm crying now because I still miss him.

I remember being questioned in a work interview about why I wear a red ribbon......in this day and age and whether I was able to keep my views to myself.

My oft washed Red Ribbon

I remember being asked what the red ribbon is for....and explaining.

If you don't know what the red ribbon symbolises and if you have questions relating to any aspect of sexual health, or have a friend you want to support or require support yourself then this is the place to go to.

Red Ribbon Project
Redwood House,
9 Cecil Street,

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday
9.30am to 5.00pm,
9.30am to 7.00pm

They also have a Bebo page.

This is still a current issue.

Check your facts and figures and remain in the loop by checking out the official: