Friday, September 28, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Exciting times!

I am more than a little bit excited to anounce that the Ruby Robin Boutique Facebook page and Etsy shop are finally up and running! I'm going to be working like crazy for the next day or two to get the Etsy shop jam packed full of new goodies, but in the mean time (if you simply can't wait that long) you can have a snoop around the albums on the Facebook page to see what's up for grabs!


Monday, September 24, 2012

What I wore and thrifty treasure

Blouse: Thrifted/Pennies
Wool skirt: Handmade
 Belt: Accessorize
Cardigan: Thrifted/A Wear
Shoes; Thrifted/New Look
Ring: Handmade

The last two Sundays we went to some fantastic carboot sales, Rathcormac and Castletownroche, where I found myself this very pretty six person coffee set (for *gasp* a measly twenty euros!)  and these two lovely shiny tacky ornaments for our ever expanding collection of kitsch. If you happen to live in Cork and love digging through piles of junk in search of unloved treasures as much as I do, then I can't recommend you check these two carboot sales enough. At Castletownroche there were even old ladies selling ham sandwiches and tea, such joy! Info about these two and many more around Cork and Ireland can be found at Collect Ireland.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Oh so quiet...

So I had great plans for posting something absolutely fascinating this week to compensate for my terrible lack of blogging of late, but alas I have succumbed to an absolutely miserable sinus infection that's being doing the rounds here in the south and am completely incapacitated for the foreseeable future :(  I've been in bed feeling horrible for the last four days now, dosing myself with refined carbohydrates and watching shamefully bad Disney movies from the nineties in an attempt to make myself feel better ASAP before I run out of holidays to actually have some fun with (I'm on two weeks holidays from work, woo!) Even though I feel like someone's beaten me round the sinuses with a sledgehammer I can't get over the incessant urge to get on with all the plans I had for my time off, so I'm probably working way harder than I should.  I'm just glad I got on with one or two things before I got all manky and sick. My to do list for the next two weeks looks something like this;

* Organize my craft space
* Get lots of tags and boxes made for my shop
* Figure out how to make decoupage brooches
* Spend a few days traveling the ring of Kerry with my boyfriend and visit my parents for a night or two on route
* Get my Etsy shop up and running, including taking lots of product pictures and figuring out postage  rates
* Get the Little Ruby Robin Facebook page up and running
* Finish a dress I cut out and left to gather dust months ago
* Write up a tutorial on altering thrifted dresses for the blog
* Do a decoupage brooch tutorial for the blog
* Visit friends in Wexford
* Make lots of stuff and then sell it all at The Fair Alternative on Saturday(I had a really good day there last week, so fingers crossed that it wasn't just beginners luck)

After a week of brutal decluttering and flogging of un-needed craft supplies at the flea-market it feels so good to have my craft space in a half-way civilized state. I got myself a little table and stool for my overlocker which has made a crazy difference to my peace of mind when I'm working. I absolutely hate working in a messy or disorganized space. Now my space is all ready to go I'm itching to get on with some  sewing so I am going to do my best to get the tutorials up for you all as soon as I'm feeling better.

After coming across this amazing Etsy shop and having a snoop around all her amazing designs, I really want to recreate this lovely little number for myself, only in red..

The one benefit to being housebound for the last few days has been that I have made lots of lovely little trinkets just in time for the Fair Alternative tomorrow, including lots of brand new designs! Here's a little sneak peak..

Decoupage brooches, this is my favourite, I'm obsessed with Blue-Tits, they're just so cute.

My new range of 'Key to my heart' pendants, featuring patina bird charms, Czech glass sparkly bits and tonnes of vintage charm...

And the piece I am most excited about by far, my new 'Time for Tea' rings, featuring a teeny tiny cup of tea (with lemon like your grandma has it) served in the most delicate floral bone china and two delectable little chocolate chip cookies, hand sculpted my moi! I spent all day yesterday fiddling about with fimo and glue and my oven which only has two settings (off' and way too hot) until I got these guys bang on. It took a while to figure out colouring the fimo and how to not burn the crap out of it in the oven but it was so worth the heartache in the end, they're so sweet aren't they!?

 Miniature cups of tea side, my most exciting little bit of news is that we've decided to expand the fluffy portion of the family and fulfill our long term ambition of getting a miniature Dachshund :) 

My boyfriend's been desperate to get a dog for ages even though I've been steadfast against it because of all the extra responsibility it would inevitably lead too but seeing as we have a lovely flat and garden, great neighbours and it would make him so happy there's not much to argue against it anymore. Not sure what the cats are going to think about it, but I'm sure a puppy will make great Bengal fodder for Sputnik upstairs!

I've had a soft spot for Dachshunds for years so it seemed like the perfect compromise as they are so teeny tiny (the Kaninchen type, which we want, stand a piddly 5-7 inches tall, seriously), cuddly and easy to transport on a bicycle. Seeing as they generally like snuggling under the blankets, they're also pretty much as close to a cat as a dog can get!

We want a black and tan long-haired female but it's seems to to be really hard to find one in Ireland, they're not a very popular dog here. I hope we find one soon, I'm not sure how much more anticipation P. can handle. I've been in touch with all the clubs and big breeders but haven't heard of any pups going any time soon. I guess we'll just have to be patient.

 In the mean time I've been shamelessly researching adorable little woolly jumpers to dress her up in, P. even wants to knit her little tiny scarves for cycling around town in the bicycle basket :D The pattern for this specially designed extra long dachshund jumper is available from Lenas Legacy HandKnits on Etsy.

That's it from me for now, I have made a promise to myself, that if I get nothing else done in the next week or two I will finally get myEtsy shop up and running, even if I only list one thing, so I'll keep ye posted on any updates. Hope you guys are having a satisfyingly productive week!


Friday, September 7, 2012

A not so brief update!

Hey guys! I'm so sorry it's been so long without writing, I've been so overwhelmed with activity the last few weeks I just couldn't find the time to blog. The main reason for my disappearance has been that I have been working like a lunatic to get my new little business venture the 'Ruby Robin Boutique' off the ground. Aside form making, packaging and marketing all the stuff for the shop, try and fit into this equation a part-time retail job three or four days a week, a boyfriend to hang out with, some semblance of a social life to maintain and four cats to cuddle things get pretty hectic. This post has actually been three whole days in the making,  so I hope you understand and keep patient with me while things find their feet :)

My biggest excitement of late came in the form of my new business cards (above)which arrived yesterday, look how pretty they are! I am so, so happy with them! What do you guys think?

 The culmination of all this recent mayhem and madness was my taking part in a three day long flea market last weekend. It was my first time putting myself and the stuff I make out there, so naturally it was a bit nerve wracking. My number one fear being that people would have no interest in it, but at the end of it I made myself a tidy profit, met some really great people and got lots of positive feedback on my stuff! 

Victorian inspired cat portrait pendant in a decadent brass and filigree setting.

I flogged off some beautiful old lace and bit and bobs from my sewing stash..

Teacup brooches..

Wooden butterfly rings (above)

It goes without saying that I found myself some treasures at the market too, far too many to be blogged about so here are some of the finer  specimens..

 Exhibit number one (pictured above) is this super girlie and pink gilded china trio from Holey Moley Vintage and this little retro owl pot from my friend Lorna. You can't see inside, the the cup, saucer and plate a lovely little floral design painted in the most vivid pastel shades.

 I couldn't resist this; the tackiest, shiniest and cutest ashtray with a little dear on the side just to make it even more shameful and perfect...

and we also added considerably to the fantasy VW collection.
 Among the new people I met at the market were two seriously funky local craftspeople: Mari of Beetree and Vicky of Kooky Cute Crochet

 Mari, who is the design force behind Beetree, transforms old, unassuming furniture into gloriously retro and colourful statement pieces.

Pictured above are her immensely cool Wizard of Oz and Marilyn inspired sewing tables.What modern seamstress doesn't dream of such a thing in their craft space!? I am seriously considering investing in one of these beauties, I've never seen anything like them.

Not only is her stuff exceptionally fun and funky (and often painted a glorious shade of robins-egg blue), but it's also so reasonably priced considering the style injection any of her pieces would give your home, so be sure and keep an eye on her Facebook page to score your next bargain

Vicky of Kooky Cute Crochet was manning the stalls alongside her incredibly sweet and fun mum Kim, together they comprise a crochet mastermind duo, with Vicky being designing these cheeky little Amigurumi toys, and her mum a range of the sweetest little baby cardies and booties in a host of beautiful colours and some of the coolest tea cosies in town.

The fact that these guys actually designs this stuff from scratch is amazing, that takes some serious skill. My personal favourite are her devilish little cupcakes!

Vicky's creatures are available form her Etsy shop and she is available to take requests on her Facebook page too so be sure and have a nosey there too!

In non-work related news, we are now auntie and uncle to an insane Bengal kitty called Sputnik that our friend Judy (who lives upstairs) has adopted. Here he is pretending to be a good kitten really (for the record, he's not fooling me).

Words can't begin to express just how mental, naughty and fun this cat is, and I have a feeling he is doomed to become a YouTube celebrity one day. His favourite leisure activity is tormenting the crap out of our brood and attacking everyone, whether innocent old-age pensioner or innocent toddler who dares to set foot on his terrace. When he isn't busy killing imaginary buffalo in his imaginary Serengeti he likes chewing up doormats and gnawing on sticks.

Doesn't he have the most enchanting amber eyes!?

I also had the pleasure of meeting our friends gorgeous new kitten Crackers yesterday. He's the most sweet natured little creature and has a perfect little black dot right in the middle of his pink nose.
I spent most of the day today setting up for a two week long pop-up craft shop in The Courtyard Gallery in Midleton, as part of Cork Craft Month. and getting stuff ready for my stall at the Bar-Boot Sale at one of the local clubs here in Cork on Sunday. Between the sudden bout of sunshine, kitten-cuddling, markets stalls and all the new people I've met it's been a really great week all in all. 
I'm really starting to enjoy my venture in potential self-employment and even though it's exhausting and there doesn't ever seem to be enough time in a day, I'm secretly thriving on the challenge. I do have to wonder sometimes if I'm not a bit of a masochist with the things I get myself into!
It's set to be another jam packed one this weekend with work in the shop tomorrow, two markets to figure out and a car-boot sale to hunt for treasure at! Hopefully next week I will have a bit more time to devote to this place, especially as I have a great little sewing/up-cycling tutorial in mind for you guys :) 

Hope you all have a great weekend too!