Monday, February 27, 2012

Featured on Etsy Ireland Blog

Dublin me eye ;-)

Today I was featured on the Etsy Ireland Team blog for the Eyes Open Ireland segment.  This is my favourite section of the team blog, where fellow team members share photos of places and things that have inspired them. Check it out!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Treasury Time Again. Promoting Irish on Etsy


Earlier this month, I posted In the Green Corner, a sampling of green treasuries (curated collections on Etsy) that included items made by me. With St Patrick's day looming, I couldn't let the month go by without creating a green, all Irish treasury of my own. So here it is, The Brass is Always Greener.

Today I needed an antidote to all the fabulous shades of green and went for black and red with a hint of browns, blues and only a tiny dash of green to show that there is more to Ireland than shamrocks. Hidden Geometry again showcases work from fellow Irish crafters, photographers, suppliers and sellers of vintage belonging to the Crafty Ireland Team.

 Inspired by Beadbash Ireland's gorgeous button bouquet, this collection explores the very simple geometric shapes that sometimes go unnoticed, but are always there in our everyday world.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

How to Care for Pearls (Tips 2)

In the second of the series on jewellery care I'd like to share a few quick tips for keeping pearls looking fresh and beautiful.
(Pearl detail on extender chain of Silver and Blue pendant)

* Give pearls a wipe with a soft, dry cloth after each time you wear them. This should get rid of loose grime, sweat, cosmetics etc which can damage them and/or diminish their lustre.

 *If very dirty you can wash pearls in mild soapy water. (This is also good for solid gold jewellery and amber by the way.) In the case of strings of pearls, it's preferable to use a damp cloth rather than soaking them so as to avoid saturating or stretching the stringing material. Do not clean them in ultrasonic or steam cleaners nor use commercial jewellery cleaners unless indicated on the pack.

*As for most jewellery, avoid wearing them in the swimming pool or while handling acids including vinegar and lemon etc.
*Store strings of pearls flat to avoid stretching and keep them separate from other jewellery to avoid scratches.

*Store in a cool place where they wont get dehydrated. Avoid wrapping them in cotton wool or soft tissue as it can dry them out. If the room has central heating, storing them in slightly damp linen can help prevent moisture loss.
*Real pearls should be restrung every so often by a professional jeweller.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

In The Green Corner

In February Etsy tends to turn a fantastic, vibrant green with St. Patrick's Day looming ahead of us. Great for me as my Etsy store is nearly always bursting with forty shades of green and more than one Celtic spiral motif at any time of the year. I'm very fond of local, Irish materials such as Connemara marble , Cork red marble,  Kilkenny Black marble and Irish beach glass foraged from the shore. I love Ireland and I'm proud to promote Irish! And if we are deemed to be green then bring on the greens I say!
This Kelly green, seaglass pendant, 'Emerald of the Sea' was listed yesterday and was soon featured in a couple of beautiful green Etsy treasuries. (showcase collections of Etsy items artistically curated by Etsy members).

 Don't you just love the zesty limes and fresh Spring greens in  St. Patrick Approves by Lou City Goods ?

 Cool Stuff for St. Patrick's Day by ccdesigns09 Creations by Carol is an eclectic mix of international items in fresh verdes.

In the USA, Lynn Corrigan of Lynn's Creative Crochet sent some love to Ireland with Forty Shades of Green-Johnny Cash's Valentine to Ireland (Thanks for featuring my Connemara marble pendant)

Craft of Ireland by fellow Irish Etsonian, Traban tastefully showcases stunning work from members of the Crafty Ireland Team (It's an honour to have my green and black necklace included among such treasures.)

Another Irish Etsonian, Bead Bash Ireland captured zingy Spring greens and lemons with Spring In My Step

So far I haven't tackled an-all green treasury. However, I did recently put together my own, quirky take on Spring treasuries:

For more Etsy treasuries curated by me or featuring my items click here:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Forget Noughts & Crosses, How bout Hoop & Cross?

I came across this little mystery at the top of Bray Head last weekend. (Click here for a snippet on my wee hike in Bray posted on my Irish blog.) Erected in 1950, the concrete cross at the top of the steep hill is a landmark for the seaside town. Annually on Good Friday, pilgrims hike up the hill to make the stations of the cross and the final station is celebrated here at the top. 

On January 29th a rusty basket ball hoop mysteriously 
appeared, bolted fast to the top of the cross. According to local news bulletins, it caused quite a stir.  Some say it is blasphemy and/or vandalism.
Others, call it art.

As I see it, it is a truly witty statement, typical of Irish humour, whether the unknown perpetrators were Irish or not.  After all, we Irish are famous for being able to laugh at the ridiculous and poke fun at ourselves (um, one could argue that sometimes that can be one and the same...)

Some planning, design and effort must have gone into getting the hoop up there and bolting it on.  It is befitting that the 'culprit(s)' chose a rusty hoop. It looks like it belongs there and has been there for years. Perfect.

Granted, any damage left behind would, I fear,  indeed be vandalism. Would it be better if the authorities left the hoop there?

Whether placed by a cheeky joker or a serious artist (or both), for me it is up cycled art -a piece of  witty, modern sculpture. What do you think?

Divine Inspiration?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Quick Tips for Jewellery Care (1)

There are several things you can do to keep your favourite pieces of jewellery looking fresh and lovely for longer. I will be posting a series of tips for storing, cleaning and maintaining your baubles and bling. To get the ball rolling, here are 3 quick tips that I hope are of interest:

  • Always apply creams, make-up, perfume etc before you put on your jewellery. The oils and acids in cosmetics and colognes can damage precious metals, gemstones and pearls. Let the lotions and scent soak into your skin before donning your favourite pieces.

  • Jewellery Trees and stands are a pretty way to display your favourite pieces, but they are not always your best friend. I'm very wary of hanging beaded necklaces and bracelets for long periods of time as the stringing materials (tigertail, nylon string, hemp, elastic etc) can stretch or sag, especially if the stones or beads are a little heavy. Best to store flat.

  • Many gemstones hate heat, so storing in a fairly cool place is best. Heat may damage the stone or affect the colour, especially if highly coloured or enhanced.
How to Care for Seaglass Jewellery

Handmade by Amo'r Etsy store