Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Welcome to Chaos..

Ever wondered what the home of a self-employed person around Christmas time looks like? Well, it's not pretty that's for sure, and this is only one of the THREE rooms that have been completely devastated this week. Sometimes I do have to pity my boyfriend. I **really** need a day off soon!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Treasure from the woods..


 Hello everyone! Just a quick post to share my latest news with you :)  First off is that my website is finally up and running at long last! There are still some kinks to be ironed out, but I'm hoping to have it pretty much perfect by Christmas, pop over here for a look!
This little botanical specimen locket is the latest addition to the Boutique! It is made with  real Irish lichens which I gathered in Gougane Barra National Park a month or two back. Gougane Barra is one of our new favourite places to go for a hike, I can't believe we only discovered it this year after living in Cork County for nearly ten years! 

Lichens like the ones in this locket grow profusely throughout the ancient, mountainous woodlands that have survived in the South of Ireland since the last ice age almost 10,000 years ago, and some have lived for many hundreds of years. Lichens are an extremely important environmental indicator and indicator of air cleanliness, so it's reassuring to know that Cork and Kerry (my two homes) are absolutely covered in the stuff!

I don't know how old these particular specimens are, but the thought of carrying around your own little bit of Irish natural history is pretty cool! I did a bit of research online,and found some great websites just for identifying Irish lichens, and managed to identify these specimens as; Parmotrema Perlatum (Black Edged Leaf Lichen), Evernia Prunastri (Common Oak Moss) and Usnea Subfloridana (Old Mans Beard). 

And you can find the Lichen specimen locket is here!

 The first day we found Gougane Barra, we were both having a sad day and desperately needed to get out of the city to clear our heads, we were blown away by the battered old mountains that greeted us as well pulled up. Soon after entering the park, we wandered off the path, through the trees and followed a meandering little stream deep into the forest.

As we walked we found all sorts of strange little mushrooms and were surrounded by hundreds of butterflies and dragonflies, neither of us had ever seen anything like it! We took turns getting photos, and if we had stayed still long enough I think they would have come and sat on us. It was one of the most beautiful encounters with  nature I have ever been lucky enough to have experienced.


After having a picnic and getting quite lost for a few hours, we headed back home recharged and happy. Nothing grounds you more than spending some time reconnecting with the natural world. I can't wait to go back again.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Latest creations.. butterflies and gold

My latest creations for the Boutique! terrarium bottle pendants made with delightful little things like *real* butterfly wings, wisps of gold flakes and native Irish mosses and lichen. The butterflies were sustainably sourced from a butterfly farm, no wild or endangered butterflies here!

These vials are reminiscent of dusty old natural specimen jars, odd in their beauty and oozing with irresistible intrigue and mystery. A tiny world preserved, for you to wear.

I'm working to get these ready for a weekend I'll be spending doing demos and selling my wares at the Shanagarry Design Center in East Cork, so pop in and say hi if you're in the area this coming Friday, Saturday or Sunday. If you don't get a chance to see them in person, these bottles will be making their way to my Etsy Shop sometime next week (if any survive the weekend that is!).


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Introducing Baby Bear

 The worlds most hard to photograph kitten! Baby Bear was found hiding under a skip in Bandon, West Cork a few days ago. A friend found him and got in contact to ask for advice, and we offered to take him in and to try to find him a forever home when he's big enough.

He is so tiny at six weeks old, and didn't even know how to feed himself for the first few days, so we had to care for him constantly at first, but he is learning so quickly! He also takes incredible pride in keeping himself spotlessly clean, which is really amazing for such a small baby :)

When we got him home we soon discovered he has a bad limp and very swollen paw, so he's on antibiotics and will probably be having an x-ray soon if the swelling doesn't go down. Although he was a stray, he quickly fell in love with me and P. and is incredibly loving and affectionate. He  cries if you dont hold him close enough to your face until you tuck him in under your chin when he can nuzzle, pod and purr himself to a happy sleep.

We're trying to stay strong and focus on not getting to attached, but it's pretty much impossible when you're nurturing such a small, vulnerable little creature day and night.
We are hoping to find him a forever home in the next month or so, depending on how his paw heals! If he faces a series of Xrays and possibly surgery, I think we will have to do some sort of fundraiser to generate the money, so please stay tuned to hear more!

Something new!

 Sweet and whimsical little necklace, made with a delicate little white feather encased in a beautiful glass vial and suspended on a sparkling gold cobweb chain. Feathers are a symbol of freedom, hope, new life and travel, and so this would be a wonderful meaningful gift for someone you know embarking on some new adventures in life!

Available from my Etsy shop!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer is the time for adventures!

 Not so long ago we took our beloved old yellow van on a trip around the coast of West Cork and Kerry. We got a tiny boat out to Garinish Island, and saw seals and an eagle, and strange exotic flowers that don't grow anywhere else in Ireland, and visited a big stone temple overlooking the bay. 

  We camped in the woods and stayed up late drinking strawberry wine beside a lagoon ringed in flowers.  In the morning I got up early and went exploring down the shadowed woodland paths and along the icy cold stream

After we had breakfast I set up studio under the trees with a tin cup of fresh coffee to make a few pieces of jewellery that needed posting soon.

When I got my parcels in the post, we carried on our way West! We visited all the cheerful little rainbow towns that nestle somewhat defiantly in the hills, out of the way of the cruel and wild Atlantic winds from Glengarriff to Allihies.

 On a day like this, you could be anywhere in the world.