Monday, 27 June 2011

For sale at the Lulu Lounge

Here are some of my wares for sale in a cabinet at the Lulu Lounge salon at the Fountain Centre in Belfast. For sale: vintage cake stands, brooch bouquets, personalised photo globes, silhouette portraits and record bowls. Call in or contact me for more information about any items.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Cousin Cathy's wedding.

I spent Saturday at my cousin Cathy's wedding and it was a wonderful fun day - an outdoor humanist ceremony, lots of hilarious Danish wedding traditions and a free bar, which is always nice!

The dress was UH-MAZ-ING.

Here's how the giant tissue paper pom poms looked in-situ. I'll definitely be making them again, if even just to hang in my house for the craic. If you're planning a wedidng or party I'd be happy to make some of these or similar decorations for you - just contact me to arrange it.

Above, a bit of a botch job at splicing together a few photographs of my generation of the O'Hara family, including the most recent additions - Dan, Jan and Hannah - welcome!
And below, the throwing of the bouquet.
A beautiful day all round.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Handmade photo globe

Here's a photo globe that I made for my cousin who is getting married TOMORROW! The photos of her dancing with my father and her soon to be husband were taken at my wedding last year.

If anyone would like a personalised photo globe made then just email or post me a couple of photographs and I'll whip you one up for just £5.

Today's find - embroidered scene.

I found this amazing piece of embroidery in a charity shop recently. I love that it's so colourful and not entirely perfect. The frame's a gem too.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

DIY tissue paper pompoms

My cousin Cathy with the giant pompoms we made as decorations for her wedding this Saturday.

To make them you just need to layer around 10 sheets of tissue paper (we used A3 sheets and alternated colours but you can make them any size or colour you like) and then make 1 1/2 inch accordian folds, creasing with each fold.

Then you snip off the ends in a round or pointed shape and twist some wire around the centre to keep the folds in place. It should look like the picture below. It's easiest to attach a length of monofilament (otherwise known as fishing line) to the centre now as well.

Then you fan out the folds (see below) and separate each layer, pulling each one away from the centre. And that's pretty much it. Just hang from the ceiling at any wedding or party and wait for the ooohs and aahs from your guests.

And here's how the pompoms should look once they're hung in the marquee - image courtesy of the amazing Martha Stewart.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

New Irish language cafe opening in Belfast tomorrow!

Tomorrow night (Thursday 16th June) there will be an opening night for the new Irish language cafe - Caifé Na Croisbhealaí - and worker's co-operative in Fresh Claim photographic gallery (otherwise known as BX) in King St, Belfast.

The cafe will be run in association with the Belfast Youth Assembly and they'll be providing hearty food, photographic delights all around and free Irish and Spanish lessons for one and all.

The opening with food and drink, craic agus ceol all provided will be tomorrow from 6 until 9pm.
The cafe will be open 12 - 5 each day.
 Be there.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery

While on our road trip we visited this unbelievable site called Carrowmore Cemetery in County Sligo - a cemetery that is 5,400 years old.

It is one of the four main passage tomb sites in Ireland, on a par with the better known Newgrange complex in County Meath, and I can't believe that I had never known of its existence before.

There are around 30 visible structures, mostly dolmen circles, that is a small dolmen enclosed by a boulder ring of 12 to 15 metres, and while none of these burial chamber structures are quite as impressive as those as Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, the sheer number of structures makes this a very special place to visit.

The picture above shows Maeve's cairn or Listoghil on the nearby Knocknarea and many of the Carrowmore dolmens appear to be aligned to the cairn.

Being a stone-hugging hippy. The wire-caged cairn surrounding this dolmen seems quite an incongruous structure but I suppose it allows people to access the dolmen which presumably was originally covered in stones.

Birthday road trip

So I had a splendiferous weekend - first a BBQ on Saturday for my friend Tomas' birthday and then on Sunday we had a fun-filled road trip from Belfast to Portrush for sister-in-law lulu's birthday. We had dinner in the amazing Ramore restaurant then hit Barry's amusements for some old-school craic.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Holy Pictures

Something I always look out for when charity shop shopping are religious pictures and statues. It's a bit strange as I'm not religious at all but I have a weird fondness for the Catholic church and a huge obsession with collecting its iconography.

The top picture is kind of in the style of Russian or Greek Orthodox iconography and the gold background shines, which you can't really see in the photo. The next three (including a pair) are more typical pictures you used to see in all good Catholic homes around Ireland though I suspect they're going out of favour these days, hence so many being found in charity shops. I do have issues with the image of Jesus as a blond white guy but I can't help but love the pictures just the same.

The picture above was painted by my very own talented husband, I shall have to get it framed. But the absolute piece de resistance is this picture below of the Sacred Heart, found in a charity shop yesterday for three pounds. THREE POUNDS! It's really big and I think really old. One day I'll have a whole wall full of these icons.

Clootie Tree

This is a clootie tree we came across near Leenane in Connemara. They are traditionally found near springs or wells and people often dip pieces of cloth in the water of the holy well and then tie them to a branch while saying a prayer to the spirit of the well. In modern times this is usually a saint but in pre-christian times it would have been a Goddess or local nature spirit.

 This is most often done by those seeking healing, though some may do it simply to honour the spirit of the spring and it's a continuation of the old practice of leaving votive offerings to the Gods. It warms my heart to see an ancient Celtic practice still alive and well in this land.

The scenery ain't bad either.

Carry on Camping

Here's where we spent out five nights away - the first was at a bend of the Colebrook river in Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh, follwed by this coastal piece of heaven below, near Clifden in Galway. That campsite even had its own private beach.

Above is the walk that runs from Galway Quays out to Salthill where we stayed, our campsite was just around that corner.

Below, the ridiculously scenic drive down to the hostel in Connemara where we spent our fourth night.

And finally, a night in the campsite in the Castlewellan estate, County Down. Not too shabby hey?