28 Feb 2010

Chill out Sketches

It's been an absolute age since I did any drawing, so after a REALLY busy week it was so nice to sit down and chill out on a Sunday afternoon and take out my pencils and paints. It will take a lot more practice to get back to the level I was at a few years ago but even though the results aren't the best I really enjoyed it. It may seem a little mad that my chill out time was still creating stuff, but it relaxes my brain. I must find more time to treat myself to more of these types of afternoons...and maybe practice will make perfect too.

24 Feb 2010

Dot likes to Polka-New Work

I've been a busy lady today with all the new material I got yesterday. I used some old jeans, and corduroy trousers for the basis of these skirts. The bottom colour of polka dot continues onto the inside in a lovely puffball shape. These are so fun if I must say so myself!

Reference Books

As I mentioned it was myself and Johns 3 year anniversary last week, and this is what he got me for my present. These two great books:

Recharge your Design Batteries published by Rotovision
It's got lots of ideas and mini projects. It's the kind of handy resource book to have when you hit a wall and all ideas have dried up, it would get the motor running again. I haven't had time yet to really go through it properly bt it looks promising so far.

200 Ideas to get you into Fashion Design by Adrian Grandon

In some ways might this book might sound likes it's a little redundant for me but there are lots of handy little tips in it. Since I was never formally trained in fashion there are lots of things that I missed out on learning, and I've picked a few things up from this book already. And it's also very pretty which immediately makes me like a book. So it's now living beside my computer with all my reference books. Looking at them makes me want to buy more.

23 Feb 2010

Clown Material

Look at the fantastic new material I just got!! I'm so excited by all the yummy colours. I popped into town to get material because I had run out of exciting bright material, and look at what I stumbled upon. I can't wait to start making lovely things with them.

22 Feb 2010

New Limerick Talent

I should really stop making drunken promises to people that I'll help set up their Etsy shop! Only kidding, this is my good friend Orla Redicans new shop Farapinalia. We have been working together for years at markets, and before that she was my boss in a pub I worked in. I really proud of her that she made this step, as only a year ago the task of sending an email was a chore. She doesn't claim to be an online expert yet but she has come on leaps and bounds. I have her a hand taking photos and listing her first few items, and basically showing her the ropes on Etsy. At the moment she has a beautiful selection of childrens and adults crochet hats. But she is a multi talented lady and will eventually have a selction of bags, jewellery, silk scarves, and most impressively she make amazingly cute rain macs out of oil cloth material.

21 Feb 2010

Careers Guidance Talk

Last week I was asked to give a talk in a school about careers and the world of fashion/crafting. It was a little surreal to walk into a room of 20 or so 15 year old girls and talk about what I do, and it was only about 10 minutes before I had to start that I realised I had no idea what I was going to say! After I got past the first daunting minute it was actually pretty enjoyable. There was lots of questions; some strange, some pretty informed. It was odd to see myself in them 12 years ago with all these strange ideas of what the real world is like. Especially if any of them intend on working the the creative field.
I tried to explain that I've worked in many diciplines over the past 6 years since leaving college and that how nearly accidently I started this business a couple of years ago. I got one hilarious question asking if I got bored waiting around for it all to happen, like one day I clicked my fingers and I became a designer. What do you even say to that...? I just tried not to laugh and say that I was learning lots of different skills by working in different creative areas. Even including some of the off the wall questions like that I was really surprised to see how attentive they could be to a talk like that. Especially considering I tried to be as realistic as possible saying that it was pretty much no glamour and 24/7 work in working for yourself.

To be honest there are many times that I feel like I'm only 16 on the inside and that all of this is one big crazy accident, but giving that talk made me see how much life has changes in years since college, and especially since I was 15!! It's funny the ideas that we have of what we want to do when we are older. I was really lucky in that I realised very young I wanted to go to art college, but I had no concept of where that would bring me. In some ways deciding your career at 15 is totally insane, but I'm not sure what system could replace it.

Anyway I hope I didn't terrify the lovely girls too much, and that maybe a couple of them will think of going into a creative workplace.

Tasy Buttons

Here are some yummy-tastic buttons I listed this week in my etsy shop. I've gotten to the point of properly going through the massive collection of buttons that I bought and I'm still finding some beautiful hidden gems. Maybe the cute buttons are mating and making extra cute buttons in my absense...maybe...hopefully?!

20 Feb 2010

Ode to St.Patrick

It's official I've been a very bold blogger over the past week or so, especially after my prolific start to the year. I do have a good excuse I've been a busy lady.
As usual I've been pumping lots of energy into my supplies shop, and I'm quite chuffed with how sales have been tipping away lately. So all the good work is paying off, for once :) . I've also been doing lots of sewing, developments are afoot with the shop that sells my work in Kilkenny....more exciting news of that next week I promise.
I've also been trying to get together some St.Patricks Day themed items for the upcoming celebrations. Etsy have made some noises about focusing their attention on this green holiday and I thought I'd hop on that bandwagon and see where it led me. During the week I made these quite sweet patriotic pincushions. I'm happy with how they turned out, they have the tricolour but they don't look like mantle piece decoration from the house of Darby O Gill.
Add on top of that Valentines Day, and myself Johns 3 year anniversary, all in all it's been a pretty hectic week!! Phew, I even feel tired typing all that.

16 Feb 2010

Lola Montez

All my good intentions to do loads of work this weekend disappeared. Saturday was consumed with the handhover from hell that tried it's hardest to kill me, and Sunday was spent in blissful romance until John was called into work on Sunday night.

We did attempt to do the 'going out for Valentines' thing and we went to see Lola Montez in Dolans on Friday. It can be best described as a caberat/musical/burlesque show. With lots of tongue in cheek humour, and panto-like talking to the audience antics. Like the film Moulin Rouge it mixed in lots of contemporary songs into the life story of the lady credited with starting burlesque. I know a number of people involved in the show, so I wanted to go see it anyway. But I have to say I was really impressed with it, and so were the group I went with. There was fantastic audience involvement coaxed by narrator Miles Breen, with James and David Blake being two other notable standout performances. I had heard that they were planning on doing some more shows later in the year, I'm not sure if this is true, but if it does book some tickets and go, it really was a fantastic night out.

11 Feb 2010

Come Have a Look....

I thought I'd show you some pictures of where i spend half of my day...my computer. I was inspired by this great blog desked I found that shows peoples' work spaces, and I got such a kick of having a nose. The blog seems to be inactive now, but you can still have a look at all the old posts.

So here is my little corner! I love it, it's right in the middle of our open plan downstairsd living area. So if John is watching a dvd I can still chat away to him. It means I can still do all my listing/promoting/blogging and not feel too isolated. Also a couple of weeks ago John moved all my design/research books beside the computer which makes perfect sense. We reclaimed the chair from a skip, the bookshelf from the side of the road, and the table is a hand me down from my folks...don't worry I bought the computer! The map on the wall is the research project that John spent two years doing. It is an illustrated map of medevil Limerick....can you tell I'm very proud of him?

10 Feb 2010

Cute Cake

The restaurant that I work a couple of days in is next door to a shop called Carrig Donn. For the past two weeks I've been walking past the cutest display of ceramic cakes. Eventually yesterday I had to go in and buy one! I normally never buy things for the house, especially kitchen ware but somethings are too cute to leave in a shop, it needed a home that would love it. I figure I'll use it for a sugar bowl...and it was a steal at only 5 euro (about $7)

8 Feb 2010

A letter of Love

To My Dearest Spammer,
Gosh thanks so much for the lovely spam you pickled my blog with today. I have so much time on my hands I really don't mind wasting an hour going through all the posts and deleting them. It was so thoughtful of you to consider how much I would appreciate your effort.
Sincerely yours
Angry Day Designs

7 Feb 2010

Etsy Ireland Treasury

Some great picks form the Etsy Ireland Team....have a peek here, please click and comment on the treasury!

6 Feb 2010

I Caved and Joined Facebook

I eventually caved and I joined facebook. I've been hearing so much about it in the forums on Etsy that I thought I would give it a shot. It ends here though, I will not join twitter. I'm already starting to feel a little bit of social networking burnout between the 2 shops, 2 blogs, my own facebook page and a fanpage. I know other people do a lot more but I still want to have time to make things...and oh have a life too.
When I was setting it up I found it a bit clunky, and it's pretty annoying that I can't sign on seperate from my personal account. When I eventually connected to the 'My Etsy' tab though it works a lot better. I'm rather impressed with the live feed to my blog too. Hopefully this drive more traffic/sales etc and make everything link together a bit better. There are loads of people I know who are on facebook who are otherwise internet/computer clueless so maybe it will reach a different market.

So if you wanna become a fan click here, or go to the shiny new button I made for my sidebar.

Note: I love this picture, I typed in internet networking into getty images and this is what popped up...I love it!

5 Feb 2010

Treats of the Forrest

Eek I'm so excited by these!! I wanted to make a could of different pincushions, so firstly I made the tree, and then the mushroom followed. I tried taking photos on a white background, but then I came up with this cute little set up. It reminds me of a kids programme set, I love these pics!! ....can you see I'm abandoning all pretense of modesty? :)


I have a lovely helper in this week doing work experience. Claire is fantastic, and has helped out loads with my endless list of sewing that I've to get through. Today will also be helping me tackle the mess that is my studio. I got a lot of it done already, but the last bit is being stubbourn. Go check out her blog for lots of cute things, and her spiffing new tea cup background...which is totally adorable.

Ps: we don't play on swings all day instead of working , I stole fun picture from her blog.

4 Feb 2010

Facebook...does it work?

I'm curious, I'm thinking of setting up a facebook fanpage and I was wondering if any of you have tried it? I keep on hearing in the forums on Etsy that it's really good for sales and it's avery effective way of driving traffic towards your shop. But there are lots of things that work for some people and not others, so I thought I would ask you guys too. I know it's not too much extra effort but I don't want to spread myself too thinly and not have enough time to make things.

Also if you have fan pages, you can leave links here as a comment and I'll come have a look.

1 Feb 2010

New Supplies

These lovely supplies from Lupin arrived on my door this morning. I've been dying to get my hands on her felt since I started making my pin cushins, so expect more photos of super colourful cushions in a few days. I'm off upstairs now to go make some more!!! I love supplies...and the postman who brings them :)

Note: Most of the things here are for me, but I'll be selling the small strawberry, bear, and miss kitty buttons. Also the buttons are not from lupin, but everything else is.

Naughty Day Designs

Yey I eventually nabbed a treasury on Etsy!! I jumped at the chance to make a collection of my naughty Valentines favourites.
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