Monday, 10 December 2012

shopping for twigs

Christmas is upon us once again. So Danny and I went out to the Cave Hill Forest near our house at the weekend to collect some branches, added a vase, some decorations and a random assortment of christmassy bits and bobs around it, including the obligatory animal skull. Merry Christmas y'all!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Introducing Melanie

This is an original 'Melanie' by Louis Shabner. I found her in a charity shop recently and swore to myself that I wouldn't spend any more than a tenner on her, but I found that I couldn't bear to pass her by even at the £20 they were asking. A bit of ebay research though leads me to believe that she's relalatively rare and worth about £150!
I hung it up in my sister-in-law's salon to have a gander at it and had to admit that it looked good there against the amazing wallpaper; so there it stays until I find somewhere appropriate to house Melanie in my house.
Isn't she a little sexpot?!
Here are a couple more pictures by Louis Shabner which were printed in their thousands and hung in every stylish home during the 60s and 70s.
And they're contemporaneous with the more famous work of Tretchikoff, the 'King of Kitsch'. Original prints of these used to be thrown out in their dozens but it's near impossible to get your hands on them now. I'd sell a kidney in return for an original 1950 'Chinese Girl'.
But for now I'm satisfied by my girl crush on Melanie.
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Monday, 12 November 2012

shine a light

Following on from my last post, here are three more styles of handmade lampshade which are available to buy from lost & found.
Prices range from £10 - £25 plus any postage charges.
email for more details.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Handmade map lampshade

Here's a little sneak peek of the lampshades I'm going to be making to (hopefully) sell in the Christmas markets this year.
a paper globe lampshade
circles of pretty paper
double sided tape
a really nice present for someone.
Lampshades are available to buy. To find out more just drop me a line at - 
- small £10
- medium £15
- large £20

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

more small adventures in Ireland

My obsession with ancient Ireland continues unabated. Our latest jaunt brought us to Mountsandel Fort (above) in Coleraine, near my hometown. Mountsandel is the oldest known inhabited site in Ireland with finds dating from 7900BC and it perches high on a rather picturesque bend in the River Bann. 
Excavations have shown that the site was continually occupied throughout every period of settlement in Ireland,  in the Mesolithic and Late Neolithic; as a promontory fort in the Late Bronze Age / Early Iron Age, as a motte in the 13th Century and as a fort, possibly an artillery emplacement, during the 1641 Rebellion.
Today it is largely forgotten about, bar the odd local out walking their dogs.
This is another really fascinating ancient earthwork which I'd never heard of until recently, despite being only about ten miles from my hometown - it blows my mind just how many remnants of our celtic ancestors there are scattered about this country, if you only know to look for them.
The earthworks are known as the Lissanduff Circles and take the form of two pairs of concentric rings (raths) dating from the early Bronze Age. The main rath would have been a large standard enclosure used as a fortified home for people and animals, these were built in defensive locations to offer maximum protection from raiders.
The farthest set of concentric banks are more intriguing, they are oval in shape and have a water spring at their centre. Archaeologists have discovered that non-porous clay was used to line the banks of the oval in order to create a deep pool of water, which would have been used for water rituals.
The raths (or the 'Dark Fort' as it is known locally) sit just behind the beautiful beach and sand dunes of Portballintrae. We visited on a particularly 'refreshing' day! 
And lastly, a small wander through Downhill Forest where we discovered that Autumn has well and truly set in round these parts and indeed winter doesn't feel too far off. Alas I fear my beautiful new bell tent that I recently bought may have to lie in storage until next year. 
Where have you been adventuring?

Thursday, 18 October 2012

wedding brooch bouquet

This summer past was all about weddings for me - either attending them, photographing them or making things for them. And so here are some pictures of a brooch bouquet I made for a friend from my hometown who got married in very the same chapel that Danny and I did.
She gave me some brooches to include that had belonged to her mother and mother-in-law and some pendants that were hers from childhood including a celtic cross and a hurley stick. A really sweet touch was to put photos from the two parent's weddings into a little locket hanging from the handle of the bouquet. I think I'll steal that idea for again.
I also made the beaded headpiece you can see here which had three strands in front and three at the back. Again this was Jane's idea and she gave me the brooches to incorporate, but it's something I'd love to try again and was surprisingly easy to make, especially considering the exorbitant prices they charge for these things in bridal shops.
The only problem with working in the wedding industry though is that it always makes me wish I could get married all over again!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Carry on camping......

                                                      image from Wye Valley holidays
I have recently become the proud new owner of a ridiculously sexy bell tent, along the lines of the one in the picture above. If I had a garden I would probably already have it up and be sleeping in there by now but our concrete yard is not the most ideal place to glamp it up.
 I've already started looking into campsites in France for our holidays next year and have endlessly bored everyone in my vicinity with my tent-talk. It's just a pity I got it at the end of the summer instead of the start - but still I'm determined to get it up somewhere, even if it's in a friend's damp garden in Belfast.
Now the important question - how would you decorate yours?

Thursday, 20 September 2012

I've neglected lost and found of late, but for wonderful reasons I promise. Last week myself and Danny along with eight of my old school friends headed to Malta to celebrate the wedding of Chris who I've known since the grand old age of three, to the lovely Nadia, a native of this gorgeous island.
Thanks to them both for the perfect excuse for a holiday and a wonderful welcome.
And the one euro pints didn't hurt either!  

Monday, 3 September 2012

Love beside the seaside

So as promised here are some photos from the wedding of Paula and Malachy I photographed a few weeks ago on a freakishly hot day. We went to the Strand beach in my home town of Portstewart for the pictures which were just as laid-back and fun as the rest of the day.
The flowers, dresses and all the amazing DIY elements they had were so gorgeous and it was such a pleasure to shoot.
Here's to a long and happy life for the newly married couple.
Email: for information on my wedding photography services.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Wedding chandeliers

A few weeks back I photographed the wedding of an old school friend (more of which later) and I was also asked to make some decorations for the venue. We came up with these huge coloured tissue-paper-and-drinking-straw chandeliers, inspired by the ridiculously intricate polish 'pajaki' and in colours based on the crazy-amazing cake below.
Here they are in the Portstewart golf club on the big day. I tried to make them all slightly different, adding strings of pearls and tassels to some, and they hung above the dancefloor, narrowly avoiding being ripped to shreds when the nearby pinata was attacked with a broom at the end of the night.
If you would like me to make some of these for your own wedding or event just drop me a line at

Sunday, 19 August 2012

love is in the air.....

Happy belated congratulations to my lovable brother Colm and his adorable fiance Dinali on their engagement! (at the top of Snowdonia should you be interested) And we've just had a wonderful weekend of 60th birthday celebrations for my pa and did our bit for international relations, bonding with our fabulous in-laws to-be Rohan and Swarna.

I hope your weekend has been suitably entertaining!

(and apologies for my fall of the face off the planet recently, I've been super busy with all sorts of crafty goings-on. More of which to follow............Real soon.)

Thursday, 19 July 2012

A third handfasting at Navan Fort.

Three years and three days after our first handfasting, Dan and I chose the 3,000 year old site of Navan (just outside Armagh) to celebrate another handfasting.

At Navan there is a reconstructed Iron Age wooden round house which we were invited into by three iron age women. It was beautifully made with a faux-fire in the middle and floored with sheepskin and deerskin. I could have moved in on the spot.

The ladies (in character the whole time) told us about their lives, how they hunted in iron age times and also about how when people wished to marry they had a handfasting which lasted for a year and a day - a trial marriage of sorts. After this time they could agree to part or to stay together.

We said 'but that's what we're doing here!'

They told us that must be the reason the sun god Lugh was shining down that morning after so much rain, and apologised that their bards and druids were not around to carry out the binding for us.

The ancient hill was mentioned by Ptolemy's geography of the 2nd Century AD, so it's a pretty important place even though most people I mentioned it to have never heard of it.

We walked through a tunnel of trees, past a half-built giant wicker man (which will be burnt on August 5th to celebrate the pre-christian festival of Lughnasa) and then climbed the sacred hill.

Most wonderful of all the hill was deserted the whole time we were there and we were able to sit down on my coat, renew our original handfasting vows and tie our hands together before walking around the perimeter of the hill to make a binding circle.

Just married, yet again!