Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Random photo of the day

Dunluce Castle and the skerries outside Portrush in County Antrim. I took this photo when my brother's girlfriend's family were visiting us from Sri Lanka a couple of years ago and we got this gorgeous evening to visit The Giant's causeway and the coast road.

And the sunset really did look that good.

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For you (and for no particular reason) a picture of the fabulous Iris Apfel - the woman I want to be when I grow up.

You may or may not have noticed that I haven't been blogging much of late but it's not all down to my own laziness, in fact blogspot took a hissy fit and refused to let me sign in for a while. We've made up now though and I'll be back tomorrow with some pictures of the crapola I've been trailing into my home lately.

Happy hunting!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Manifesto films

Manifesto Films, run by a very talented friend of mine by the name of Phil Harrison, recently won the short film award at the Belfast Film Festival with ‘Even Gods’. All cast and crew gave their time and skills for free and I had the pleasure of helping out with props and stills photography. If you haven’t seen the film yet, click here to watch it online.

The plan for Manifesto Films' next project The Good Man is for a new kind of filmmaking.  The idea is to build a community around the project, in which investors, cast & crew, the production company, and township residents all have a stake in the film.
The film will be funded through a simple investment scheme.  There are 400 project shares available at £150 each, giving a total budget for the production of £60,000 and all returns made by the film will then be divided up in the following way:
40% to investors | 30% to the production company | 20% to cast and crew | 10% to a township trust for local filmmakers/artists. Have a look at the synopsis below and if you're intrigued then visit the film's website here http://thegoodmanfilm.com/ to learn more.

Michael is a young Irishman on the way up; a wife and daughter he loves, good friends, a promising career. But everything begins to unravel when, through a simple act of thoughtlessness, he causes a stranger's death in an accident.
Sifiso is a bright, sharp teenager living in an informal settlement in Cape Town. Hoping for a place at university, and a better future, he is inadvertently drawn deeper into the harsh struggles of township life, and begins to ask why the new South Africa looks so much like the old.
Worlds apart, both men find themselves faced with the same question: how to be good. And when their stories unexpectedly collide, their impact on one another's lives is far greater, and more surprising, than either could have imagined.

upcycling art

Today I continued my industriousness by painting around this figurine of a ballerina that I bought in a charity shop a while back. I wondered whether it was rude to change someone else's artwork, and then I stopped worrying about it and started painting. I like it much better now. 

Her Royal Right-on-ness Robyn

Brighton last October.
Robyn in concert.
I adore her.

Fifi on Brighton beach after the gig.

New art

I mentioned a while back that I actually bought a piece of art during one of the 'late night art' walking yours. So here I am that night with the picture, part of a huge painting by the Vent Collective.
And below, my new painting in what is fast becoming an art hoard in one corner of the living room. I really must stop buying pictures.

Have a look at this video to see the artists painting the huge group work and then cutting it into pieces. (I think I got the best bit, and it was a steal!)


Vintage Clothes Finds

I don't normally post about clothes but I've been so lucky recently finding bargainous vintage pieces that I thought I'd share a few. The sparkly 70's dress and maxi skirt were only £1.50 each!

The black lace cocktail dress isn't vintage but it's a classic and I've had an excuse to wear it already. 
I haven't sported the stripy synthetic 70s/80s house coat yet though because I'm not sure how to wear it without looking like Nora Batty from 'last of the summer wine'.

I also got a lovely brown leather jacket the other day for a fiver. I just love charity shops.

Lost & Found DIY bunting

I'm at home today and was determined to be industrious so in between the daytime TV and getting lost on the internet, I made some bunting to use in a display of my cake stands that I'm setting up at the minute.

I attempted to copy the font (called 'lobster') that I'd been using as my blog title until recently, but it has mysteriously disappeared from blogger and I can't find another font that I like. I guess I need to get going on that embroidered header that I've been talking about for months now.

You see tutorials all over the internet for gorgeous triangular fabric bunting and if I was any good on a sewing machine I'd love to try and whip some of it up, but this simple method using paper, doilies and black card only took about an hour to make so would be easy to do for parties.

Now I just need to thread it together, hang it and then just wait for the orders to come flooding in!

We danced for Barefeet

The 'Let's dance for Barefeet' fundraiser on Saturday night was a roaring success and we raised well over £2000 for the charity in Zambia which works with children and young people who live on the street there.

see http://www.barefeettheatre.org/ for more details

Barefeet Zambia kicked off proceedings with a video message and performance recorded in Zambia especially for the event and then there were several performances ranging from the sublime (the very professional looking tango and salsa performances) to the ridiculous (the cross-dressing, skirt-shedding line dance). Needless to say the line dancers stole the show and here they are with the glitterball trophy.

Special thanks to Anne and Patricia McGuigan for all the hard work.


Our glamorous judges. And this being Ireland, we simply couldn't have a panel of judges without a priest on it (Fr McCullough on the left wearing the fetching shiny green jacket)

Monday, 16 May 2011

Today's finds

I got a great haul of goodies from my favourite charity shop today including this table cloth and some more doilies, and this tapestry picture below.

And I now am the proud owner of some tupperware - I think that officially makes me a proper housewife at last.

Quirky weddings

There was a quirky wedding fair on yesterday in Belfast which involved people walking around various venues offering wedding services. I hung out at my sister in law's salon 'The Lulu Lounge' and her best friend is about to open a new foot salon there, complete with those little fish which nibble on your feet, I can't wait to try it out.

My mother in law made some amazing fairy cakes (we're sick of the cupcake obsession) and I had a few cake stands and my vintage brooch bouquet on display. It was really good fun, mostly because we spent most of the day eating and drinking the cava and nibbles set out for visitors.

Brooch bouquets made to order priced £100 - £300
Origami/button/butterfly bouquets available from £35

Good times in Dublin

I took these pictures when I was staying in Dublin for a week or so last summer, working at the Dublin Wheel while the managers of the photography operation were on holiday. I know it's a bit late to be posting them now but I was just browsing through old photos and memories of these sunny times made me smile.

From the top of the wheel I could see Poolbeg power station out by the sea so I took a wander after work one day and found myself first on the beach and then strolling through the beautiful Irishtown Nature Reserve. It was only a short walk from Dublin city centre and the busy docks but it was a real haven with loads of butterflies and all sorts of flora and fauna to see.

The Dublin Wheel, previously the Belfast Wheel where I worked for two years. We had so much fun at that job (it's even where Husband Danny and I met) but didn't really appreciate how good we had it until it was shut down and we all lost our jobs.

Views of the sea and an old diving tower at Blackrock, just outside of Dublin where my aunt lives.

I visited the National Museum and saw many old Irish treasures including the Ardagh Chalice which dates from 700 - 800AD and below it the original Tara Brooch, also from around 700 AD

Danny came down to visit and we went to Phoenix Park and soaked up some evening rays sitting on the huge obelisk. We drank wine and watched traveller boys riding bareback through the meadow in front of us. The next day we wangled our way in to the zoo for free (the same company does the photography there as at the wheel) and watched the amazing gorillas.

I'm very much in need of a holiday but this year I'm contenting myself with a little trip around Ireland to visit various mythological sites such as dolmens and cairns. You can expect many, many photographs of that some time next month.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Let's Dance for Barefeet

Barefeet Ireland are organising a dance competition in the style of Strictly Come Dancing in The Magherabuoy House Hotel in Portrush to raise funds for Barefeet Zambia on Saturday 14th May.  

Brian Moore will be our Host and DJ for the evening and other local celebrities will be the judges. Lots of local people are taking part and there will be a special opening dance by Barefeet themselves via video link.  

The tickets which are £15 including supper can be bought in Inspirations in Portstewart or at the door. Come along and cheer your favourite act and place your vote for the winner. I'll be playing the role of Tess Daly for the evening so it'll be worth going just to see me embarrass myself.

An evening of unbeatable entertainment is guaranteed.  Doors open 7pm. 

For further details about the event contact Tricia McGuigan 07950750871

Barefeet is a creative arts and performance project founded by local man Adam McGuigan from Ballymoney. The project has been helping children on the streets of Zambia for 5 years. The project uses theatre, art, dance, music and creative writing as a tool to engage with children most at risk of disengaging from their communities. Barefeet offers them an opportunity to have their voices heard and a channel through which to express themselves. It works. Its not rocket science, by giving children some encouragement, confidence, self belief and allowing them to ’shine’, you can really start to work together to find brighter opportunities. We are asking you to help by attending this event in aid of the charity.

for more information about the work that barefeet does with young people who live on the streets of Zambia click the link here

Quirky wedding fair in Belfast this Sunday

This Sunday there's going to be a wedding fair with a difference in Belfast, organised by Quirky Weddings. It's a walking tour of venues that offer various wedding services and The Lulu Lounge brow and lash salon in Fountain Centre, College Street (which is owned by my amazing sister in law Lucy) will be taking part and offering free cava to boot!

I'll have some of my cake stands, vintage brooch bouquets and other wedding related wares on display, come on down, you're welcome there whether you're getting married or not.
Find out more about the wedding 'pop-crawl' here

Above: The uber stylish Mrs Lucy Mathieson - lash and brow transformer extraordinaire.
Below: some of the wedding bouquets I can make for blushing brides to be.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Warning...cuteness alert....warning...

Here are some of the newest additions to the inhabitants of the Waterworks park near my house. So fluffy!