23 March, 2013

Made in Paper Magazine

The talented folks over at Mollie Makes have now released a new magazine called 'Made in Paper'. With a paper addiction such as mine, it would be nearly rude not to purchase it and give it a flick through. I ordered it online a few days ago and can't wait for it to pop into my mailbox. I have been thinking for a long time now about branching out into more paper crafty items apart from cards and invitations and I've no doubt this magazine will be full to the brim with ideas and inspiration. I'll probably suffer from "Why didn't I think of that?" envy. I always do!

Fingers crossed it lands on my doorstep on Monday because I'm itching to have a nose through it. I kinda wished I had an ipad so I could download it instead and instantly have it, but for me I sometimes prefer the feel of an actual magazine and having it tucked away as a reference mag afterwards.

I'll be sure to share the results!

22 March, 2013

Get movin' to Bloglovin!

Dear wonderful, fabulous readers!

As many of you know by now, Google reader, for whatever reason is on the way out. "Oh, no, what will I do? How will I keep up with all the amazing posts you offer?"

Fear not.

I have a plan.

I have been a little member of Bloglovin for a while now, using it to discover new blogs and create more blog envy and also cas I like how everything is presented ever so neatly. It's blogger reading for grown ups. I've set up my own account now and I'd be ever so grateful if you could pop over and follow along. I would hate to lose any of you lovely folk and if you have a blog yourself, be sure to include the link in the comment section so that I can keep up with you too!

Happy Friday!

21 March, 2013

Unexpected mini sabbatical!

I sometimes dislike those posts from bloggers who say "err, I was sick there for a while, I needed a little break" or something like that.

Well guess what, I'm about to do the same (kinda). Two weeks ago I had a very, very busy week in my full time day job. It was a case of work all day as normal and then complete some more work late at night. It was just one of those weeks where I had very little energy and zero inspiration in the form of blogging and no creativity came my way. As a result, the craft room gathered cob webs and my March blogging schedule went out the window. Apologies guest post people, I will get you all back on track!

The following week, I got very sick (think mucky chesty cough with horrible sore throat) and took some time off work. I then got some great news about a job I had been interviewing for. I got the job but sadly I had to turn it down for financial reasons. It would have meant a move to Dublin which in comparison to Limerick is very expensive to live in. It was a horrible decision to make considering this company is a dream company and aspiration of mine. I won't even tell you the name of the company, because you'll probably shout at me in capital letters and tell me I'm mad. Trust me, I feel mad. Perhaps other doors will open there again for me or elsewhere, who knows?

For now, I'm feeling lots better. I was so annoyed over the last few days over the job. It was like I was mourning a loss, honestly, that's how much I wanted it. There were conversations with friends, family, in person, on the phone and even a group session with wine and co-workers. I don't think I've ever asked for so much advice on any topic in my whole life and when it came down to the nitty gritty of turning down the offer, there was tears. There was tears afterwards, at night time, at work, in the shower, with friends, with pretty much anyone who would listen or who asked me a question about it. Lets hope it was the right decision and that a multitude of regrets don't follow!

I'm ok now...kinda. Or at least I will be.

Normal blogging and creativity will resume over the weekend!


13 March, 2013

Positive Quotes (of the unicorn kind!)

I like me a nice Unicorn. Is it sad that I kinda wished they existed?
Happy Wednesday everyone, here in Ireland, we're itching ever so close to a lovely long weekend all in aid of that man St.Patrick!

12 March, 2013

Guest Post #2 - Smudge Yarns

Without further a do (and a teeny bit late), let me welcome the lovely Sara from Smudge Yarns! A talented crafter / artist originally from the US of A but now settled in the wonderful county of Cork.

Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself 
My name is Sara Breitenfeldt and I am originally from Wisconsin, but relocated to Ireland in 2010. I studied Irish History at university, and even went to Irish College in the Gaelteacht and struggled through learning Irish Gaelic! I'm now settled in Cork with my Irish partner. I have always been a crafty person, and have been knitting for years. I was wanting to get into spinning my own yarn, but a spinning wheel was always financially out of reach. However, thanks to the crowd funding site Kickstarter.com I was able to raise funds to fulfill one of my dreams – to spin yarn out of real Irish wool.

What do you make, how do you make it and what materials do you use?
I buy wool fleeces from sheep farmers around Ireland. Farmers are paid very little for wool, and after the shearer is paid, there is virtually no profit left. I strive to pay the farmers a price that I feel is fair. I wash these fleeces myself, and card them, dye them, and spin them into yarn. Most of the items I sell are carded wool or spun yarn, but sometimes I use this yarn to weave shawls or make other knitted items.

Tell us about your creative process
Much of my inspiration for color palettes comes from nature: green and yellow lichen growing on a grey rock, or a field of colorful flowers.

Tell us about your creative space
At the moment my creative space is my kitchen. This is not a great arrangement as there is always yarn hanging up to dry, or wool being carded on the kitchen table. I will, however, be moving house soon and will have a dedicated wool space, which I am really excited about!

Do you create full time or part time?
I create full time at the moment. I turned to craft during a time of unemployment, so I have effectively dedicated my life to wool! Each day is mix of mundane activities (like wool carding) and creative activities (like dyeing).

What and who inspires you?
Most of my inspiration comes from the Irish landscape. Ireland has a very different texture to it, compared to where I grew up. Ireland is stone and moss and mist; not the wood and prairie of Wisconsin.

How do you stay motivated?
This is a tough one. It can be hard to stay motivated when working from home, especially when it is time to do the hard and unpleasant tasks. It is much easier to daudle away the time on the internet. But luckily, my partner is a manufacturing engineer and he has shared some tricks with me. I use a Gantt Chart to keep myself on track and force myself to meet deadlines.

How does art enhance your life?
Art allows me to be creative and use my imagination. I have previously worked in sectors that place a huge emphasis on conformity and regulation. My craft hobbies have always allowed me achieve balance by introducing some right-brain activities into my life.

Best piece of crafty / life advice you ever received
Being a leader means stepping up and taking on the jobs that no one else is willing to tackle. I often think of this when faced with a task that seems difficult or not enjoyable.

The fun stuff – five words to describe you
Engaged, Distractable, Diffident, Antiquarian, Zymurgist.

Favourite places, food and song
Since I am far from home, I would say one of my favorite places is my hometown, Milwaukee. And no trip to Milwaukee would be complete without some Bratwurst! At the moment I would say one of my favourite songs is “Pack it Up” by Pokey LaFarge.

04 March, 2013

Who needs a penpal?

From a really young age I was literally obsessed with those who lived in other countries. I'd even go far as to say I was obsessed with those who lived in other towns in Ireland. (FYI, I had a pen pal from Monaghan and I'm from Louth...go look that up on a map of Ireland and you'll see why that's hilarious!) I just always, always wanted to meet new people, hear about their lives and exchange letters. I had an insane appetite for it and probably lived my teenage years believing the grass was always greener.

When Spanish students came to our town every summer to learn English, none of them left without giving me their address (because I plagued them...yup, I was that annoying!) and so the correspondence with them started. I still have all of those letters and as they were written during my teenage years, its hilarious to read through them and see how I documented my life to others. We wrote about boyfriends, the things which seemed sooooo uber important in our lives at that time and swore to death that we would visit each other and be BFF's before the term BFF's was even invented.

The fun thing is, I'm still in touch with one of those Spanish students via Facebook, but I miss the feeling of an old school letter with lovely handwriting and nice stationary and so the search begins for a new pen pal, but on a different and more adult level.

So, if you fancy an Irish penpal, look no further. I'm your gal! Drop me an email to luckyrainbowdesigns@gmail.com and hey, lets be friends!

Some great facts about my pen pal skills and reasons why we should be pen buddies;
  • As a stationary addict hoarder, I will write my letters on lovely paper, with nice pens and all placed in a cute envelope. I may even send you some of this lovely stationary. A girl has got to de-clutter right?
  • I will write back! I'm awesome at this! There is practically a post box and shop selling stamps outside my door, I have no excuses.
  • I might send some of my letters in lovely LuckyRainbow cards. Nice huh?
  • Finally, who doesn't want a lovely letter from Ireland. (It might even smell of the rain, Guinness and leprechauns*)
*Disclaimer; It won't, but you secretly wished it did.

No previous experience necessary, just an appetite to receive nice letters and the time to write one back.

02 March, 2013

Some lovely guest posts for March

With March comes the second month of Spring. The days are getting longer and the nights a little shorter. I welcome this in absolute abundance. It's no secret that if I ruled the world or, if at the very least I was president of Ireland, I would make it law that no-one should have to get out of bed if its dark, except in cases where you're going to the airport to catch a flight and go on holiday. In that case no-one minds getting out of bed early and that can be the mini loop-hole of my law.

March also brings with it, the much celebrated St Patrick's Day. On the 17th day we will all claim in some shape or form that we are 100% or 1% Irish, get our green on and generally drink and be merry and drown a shamrock or ten. With that in mind I have decided to use March as a month to showcase some new and not so new (but always talented) Irish bloggers who are makers and shakers and people who interest, inspire and excite little ole me. I put a call out via t'internet and got a wonderful response from a variety of writers, makers and creatives and I am excit-ra and deli-ra to share them with you all. Share the blogging love and check out their posts past and present and make their day by becoming a follower. It's like giving a blog hug! Aww, who doesn't love a blog hug!

Without further a do, I'll like to introduce our very first creative. The rather talented (and oohhhh isn't her photography breathtakingly pretty!?) Gillian from Resin Road.

Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi! I'm Gillian and I'm a jewellery designer and photographer from Dublin. My background is actually in art history and archaeology, however with the downturn in the economy, work became more and more scarce so I had to admit defeat and try and figure out a new direction to follow.

I've always had a passion for art and photography and it seemed only natural to go down that route. While working as a contractor I began to seriously think about how I wanted to make all my artistic ideas into a worthwhile reality. After work, I would spend my evenings filling notebooks with ideas and doodles and researching online until I finally came up with Resin Road. I wanted to create affordable well made jewellery that was completely unique. Initially, the colourful Georgian doors of Dublin gave me a spark of creativity, as I would pass them on my way to work everyday. I illustrated mini doors and made them into pendants, each one with a little tale to tell.

I like to do creative writing in my spare time, so I decided to add that into the pot too! It felt like it all finally came together after months of research and It was so satisfying to be able to combine so many of my interests all at once- art, photography, writing and crafts. The next step was opening my Etsy shop back in October 2012.

What do you make, how do you make it and what materials do you use?
I make miniature illustrated pendants of Dublin's Georgian doors, with a modern and unique touch. I also press and dry my own leaves and flowers and make botanical jewellery. I work with resin, which offers a 'glass-like' finish and a durable quality to the pieces, while remaining very lightweight. Once the objects inside have been properly sealed, the resin will preserve the botanicals and the illustrations for many many years.

Tell us about your creative process.
The doors require more 'planning' than the botanicals. I usually refer to my own photos I've taken of the cities doors and then sketch them up and select colours and personalities to match. I try not to over-think the whole process too much as spontaneous expression often leads to a better outcome.

With the pressed leaves and flowers the whole process is very organic and free. I would choose a flower or leaf at random and choose a suitable mold based around the objects natural form. The resin part is the only stage where being meticulous and controlled is of utmost importance. It is essential to be prepared while working with resin. I lay out everything I will need on my desk beforehand and cover everything with plastic sheeting.

Next stage is gloves and goggles on, respirator firmly attached and measuring and pouring begins. Safety is imperative while working with resin. I'd always recommend investing in a good respirator. You only have one pair of lungs and you have to look after them!

Resin is a very unstable and tricky medium to use. It took a lot of experimentation (ie. many disasters!) to get my formula and technique right, but I persisted and got there in the end. You always learn best from your mistakes.

Finally, it's a case of trying to remain patient for the resin to cure. After a day the pieces are de-molded (my fave part!) and sanding begins (the worst part!) and then the dull edges need to be re-coated. The next day findings are attached and voila! I've found you need to enjoy the whole process from beginning to end, otherwise it can be quite an ordeal as it's very involved.

Tell us about your creative space.
My 'mini' studio is also a moving one (I'm sure there's not many of those around!). During the colder months my desk and materials are set up in the dining room and in the warmer months, I move everything out into the conservatory as the view of the garden is a lot nicer, plus there's lots of natural light. Resin is very sensitive to temperature, so my studio has to move around for that reason. In the future I would love to have a 'fixed' studio overlooking the sea, but for now that's just a dream :)

My crazy kitty, Billie will often plonk herself next to me when I'm working on sketches or cataloguing materials and we have plenty of one sided conversations. She occasionally gives a little squeak of agreement. She's my little helper, but more often than not, she's just a ninny and has to be put out!

Do you create full time or part time?
At the moment I'm working full time on creating my own little business with Resin Road. I'm hoping the long hours will hopefully make my business a successful one and become my full time career.

Who and what inspires you?
My surroundings inspire me a lot. I love to be outdoors. I go walking everyday to my local park and I'm forever scanning around me for interesting objects for future projects.
Fellow Etsy artists also really inspire me and it's great to get such positive feedback and advice from people. My twin sister is also a great inspiration. She's a very talented graphic designer and we always share ideas and advice about both of our projects, which is always a huge help!

How do you stay motivated?
It can sometimes be difficult to stay motivated when sales are slow some months. However, these things happen and you have to carry on and keep working hard as it will always pay off in the end. I'll just switch on my music and bury myself in my work and all my worries disappear. Doing something that you love everyday is all the motivation you need.

How does art enhance your life?
Being creative is an integral part of me. It's that simple. I've always been artistic and it's my greatest passion in life. I don't feel like myself if I can't create and it's something I must do each day. It's my release and my focus in life. 

Best piece of crafty / life advice you ever received
Just keep going! Happiness in what you do will reflect in you.

The fun stuff – five words to describe you
Oh that's difficult! I guess I'll go with;
Creative, Funny, Caring, Daydreamer, Content

Favourite places, food and song
My favourite place has to be Brittas Bay- I love being by the sea and staring out into the beyond. My favourite food..ooh there's too much to choose from! Ehm, Banoffee pie, minus the banana, so just caramel and biscuit pie-yum! Music, Hmm only one?! Well, I'll go for Lateralus by Tool

Blog / Etsy / Facebook

Thanks so much Gillian! I'll think you agree, a very talented artist with an eye for detail! Now, hop foot it to the links above and get blog hugging! :)

01 March, 2013

Positive Quotes

Happy Friday y'all. I think I've needed this weekend to arrive more than I realised...
and by the way, you look lovely today! Yes you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails