29 Apr 2010

Chill Out

I'm taking a step back from work for a few days so I won't be about the blogosphere much until Monday. It's a bank holiday here this weekend and there is a great festival going on in Limerick, the Riverfest. This year I don't have a stall, so I plan to enjoy all the festivities as a punter for once. I'm also going to visit my sister on Friday, and to marvel at her 6 month along baby bump. Hope you all have a lovely weekend, here's hoping for a bit of sunshine so I can wander about the city in flip flops eating ice-cream, what one should always do then you have the day off !

25 Apr 2010

Saturday Night

Last night I joined the real world and went out on a Saturday night! My friend Ann offered to put me on a guest list for a gig in Dolans, so how could I refuse?? I donned a frock, put on a bit of warpaint,and I followed a hair how-to for the first time in my life (thanks Sunday Times, I got lots of compliments!).The gig was the IMRO Showcase Tour 2010, so I got to see four acts for nothing, how recession busting is that??
First off was Nick Carswell and the Elective Orchestra, which were fantastic. I was really impressed by their orginality, and muscality. The four pieces are made up of a drummer, cellist/vocalist, double bassist, lead vocalist/keyboard player/guitarist, so quite an impressive selection for a wee group of people.There had moments that they reminded me of The Frames on a good day, and Sigur Ros from their energetic days. Rarely do I go to a gig and decide to buy an album from people I've never soon before, but I'll definitely be looking to get something from these guys, and will certainly be heading to their gigs in the future. Handy for me as they hail from Limerick!
After that we had Steve from Windings playing solo, some of you remember him from his previous incarnation from Giveamanakick. I've seen Windings a good few times over the years, and to be brutally honest I was pretty disappointed with his performance last night. I suppose people have bad days, but it was a shame. Priosly I have seen him doing stunning work on guitar, with intricate loop pedals mixed with charming quirky lyrics.
Supermodel Twins, the third band caused a not so serious fight between myself and John, we both disliked them but John claimed that they were crap. Which they really weren't, they are excellent at what they do, I'm just really not a fan of chirpy poppy rock music. They were tight and snappy, with catchy riffs, which is exactly what you need from a band like that. I can see them becoming really popular, like weezer in plaid shirts and Limerick accents. Whereas because they weren't doing anything innovative or new/cutting edge John thought they were tripe. ...silly stubborn boys!

Lastly closing the night were my good friends The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra, and I have to say it was one of their best gigs I've seen in a long time. They somehow squeezed their 8 piece band onto the tiny stage, and they looked like they had a blast for the whole time they were up there. They have a great mix up theatrical dark caberet mixed with delicate harmonies and strings. They've been gigging in various incarnations for 10 years, but are now releasing their debut album later this year (designed and illustrated by yours truely!). It was lovely to finish the night with couples waltzing on the dancefloor!

24 Apr 2010

Handmade Cards

I was a busy lady again making more stock for the market. Since I went back to the Bedford Row market I've only had a small box of handmade cards with me, but I want to start using my very snazzy card stand again. But that means having the stock to fill it! So I knuckled down and used up lots of the lovely paper I've been hoarding. I also went browsing through my many editions of the Sunday Times Style suppliment for images to used in my collage cards. I got about 40 made in the past day and a half. Here are a few examples, and if you want to see all of them just head to this facebook album. I spent the past two hours taking and editing photos, as I think I'll list them on my Etsy shop. I know there is lots of people selling cards on Etsy, but there is no harm in trying eh?....ever the optomist!

22 Apr 2010

300 Things to Say

Well this is my 300th post!! I can't quite believe it, I've been doing this now for about a year and a half so that's not too bad going really. So I'm celebrating by having a 'Things I love Thursday' post.

My Friend Ann: For telling me about the most amazing drink a few years ago- guinness and port. It's best with a single measure of post in a half pint of guinness. Yummy yummy, I was drinking lots of it last night, we proclaimed that it tasted like a raspberry coffee dessert. I mostly consider it a Winter drink, but the mood took me as I had been previously been drinking red wine.

John:For being a hero when he came home from football and getting rid of the nasty big spider. Just as I was sitting down to watch a film I noticed a giant black monster scutttling across out white tiled floor. I was brave enough to put a glass over him. But my hungover addled brain didn't want to deal with it anymore than that. So thanks baby!

Tidy Spaces: Last week I eventually sorted out all the buttons I bought last year! A friend gave me an old chest of drawers so I colour coded and sorted all the buttons. It's so much easier to work with them now. I'm also eagerly awaiting my next delivery so I really had to sort out the old stuff. I think I need at least one more set of drawers though.

Music: Last night I listened to a song I haven't heard in ages. Your Next Bold Move by Ani Difranco, beautiful and inspirational. Above is a live version I just found on youtube.

Close Contenders: blue cheese dressing from luigi malones, watching soppy movies, buying new shampoo so I don't have to squeeze and shake the old one.

21 Apr 2010

A bounty of Treasuries

I went a bit treasury mad on Etsy over the past couple of days. I'm loving their new Treasury East function, which allows you to have more items on show, and there is no expiration date. That means it stays in the archive forever, and there is no need to queue up to get one...how great is that? I'm not sure they've really caught on yet, it's been a long time since I was in the forums on Etsy so I don't know what everyone thinks about them. Personally I think they are a lovely way to keep your favs together, or to currate a look for the new season. My first stab was inspired by my friend Orla's raincoat. So I picked lots of garden red and green items. I really like the fun elements in it too.
Check it out here, please click and comment.

Today I knabbed a regular treasury, I currated it in a homage to the sunshine we have been having of late in Ireland. I included about 5 members from the Etsy Ireland team and I then sprinkled in a few other sunny picks from Etsy.
Please click here to view, and click and comment to your hearts content.
Enjoy the lovely sunshine-may it last!

20 Apr 2010

Getting Organised

I usually bring some sewing with me to the market for two reasons. 1: So people can see that the pieces are made by me, and not by children in a sweatshop! I ended up talking to lots of customers at the market because the tell me stories about their mothers sewing lots, or their grannies button boxes, it's fun! 2: Sometimes it can get really boring if it's quiet and I would prefer to be doing something contructive rather that staring at the stall holder across from me. What I've been doing before was to bung a load of felt, thread and buttons into a box, and work things out when I got there. This mostly led to me making either ugly brooches that didn't match, or lots of half finished pieces. I was over at my favourite blog Lupin and she showed her whip box of tricks. She pre-cuts and bags all her pieces. Genius!!! I tried it on Sunday and I got loads made, with no waste. So yesterday I pre-cut 30 brooches, bagged them up, and they are ready to go. When they are finished all I do is staple a tag onto the bag and they are ready to sell, how handy is that??

Ps: there is a possibility of me maybe getting a pitch at the much sought after Saturday Milk Market in Limerick....if all of you could collectively cross your fingers for me I might be in with a chance!

18 Apr 2010

Customers Creations: Part 1

Here is that post I promised about people who make things out of my supplies. Firstly I'll start with Liliy from London, who sells these amazing rings in her shop Lowusu. It was so nice to see my buttons being tranformed! She is also running a giveaway on her blog at the moment. The rings are in the region of $11-$13, which I think is a total bargain!

Next is the lovely Rebecca from Lucky Rainbow Designs, who makes the most beautiful cards. For the above card she used buttons from one of my mixed bags and also some of my pearl headed pins. This year was the first time in ages I actually bought a card instead of using one I had made myself, and my mother loved it! She has a great sense of colour and composition, and I'm not just saying that because we are friends. For more lovely creations check out her shop and her blog.

I will be continuing this series of posts if people get in contact with links to things made from Nice Day supplies, just leave a comment here.

17 Apr 2010

What did you make??

I just had the pleasure of seeing some amazing rings made with buttons purchased from my shop. I would like to do an ongoing post about things made from supplies purchased from me. So if you have made something from the supplies you bought from me, I'd like to see them! Just leave a comment below here with a link to your shop, or email me the image please at ruthcrean@yahoo.ie. Looking forward to seeing your creations!

Hurray for Heckety

I just wanted to say thanks to the lovely Heckety Beckety for sending me these beautiful creations! The blue flower is a brooch, and the the other is a super cute pink bracelet. Heckety ran a challange for people to post links to some inspirational music. I chose Wallis Bird, and for that I got these lovely gifts!!!-how cool is that. Go check out her fantastic blog, or more lovely creations in her shop.

16 Apr 2010

Speedy Gonzales

I have just entered the modern era,I got a 15mb connection. I can't quite believe how fast it is. At them moment I'm uploading photos to my facebook fanpage, before this was a horrible chore that I avoided. Now it's a breezy easy thing that just takes a couple of minutes. Up until now I've been working with one of those wireless plug-ins from 3G, I was paying 20 euro a month for a service that made me want to pull my hair out, and unfortunately we were tied to a contract. As soon as that was finished I rang NTL and Eircom to see what was on offer, after comparing the prices I went with NTL. After having a funny conversation with the telesales guy who couldn't understand that we don't have, and don't want a television, I decided on getting their package of 15mb broadband, and a phone line for only 46 euro/month. After a brief glitch of the the internet not working initially, it now working perfectly.
So to anyone suffering through slow internet speeds I highly recommend the switch, it's worth every penny, especially when I think of all those grey hairs I was getting with 3G.

10 Apr 2010

1950's Pin-ups

Here are some cards I made yesterday. They are collaged together from some lovely paper I got in my local craft shop, odds and ends of ribbon, and a great 1950's pin-up book that I got in HMV about a year ago. I carefully cut around the ladies and then root through my box of papers to find patterns and colours that will match them. I also got a great label maker in Lidl ages ago, so I make sarcastic little comments for some of them. I'm also using my new stamp for the back of the cards instead of including a business card. This is way better as the recipient sees the logo and not just the sender. I really love making cards, I know there is not much money to be made from them compared to the time and materials that go into each one, but I enjoy it too much to stop making them.

I'll be selling them tomorrow at the Sunday Market in Limerick City, on Bedford Row, 12-5pm. They are 4 euro each or 3 for 10 euro, 0r if you wish to buy them online just contact me. This is my first week back at the market since Christmas Eve, I always get a little nervous going back, which is silly I know. It will be really nice to see all the other stall holders again, as there is a lovely sense of community between us. There is a great mix of gourmet foods and handcrafts on sale. I'll try to remember to bring my camera so I can post somepictures for you guys.

9 Apr 2010

I am a Machine...kinda

It seems I turned into a brooch making machine this week, I went into total over-drive on Wednesday and Thursday and made all of these brooches. It was really nice to sit in my studio and listen to loads of my audiobook, I'm currently on book 9 of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. It was also really relaxing to have a set methodical routine, all I had to choose was nice colour combiations, and root through my huge stash for cute buttons...oh what a lovely chore! I think I've changed my mind I might list a few of them in the shop and see if there is any interest. I've never bothered before because there are so many people selling brooches on Etsy there didn't seem to be a point. But there have been lots of lovely comments on facebook/twitter/blog about them so I'll give it a shot next week. Now in preparation for the market on Sunday I've to go into card making over-drive, if only it was Christmas, I have lots of those cards.

7 Apr 2010

The Easiest How-To Ever

It's official this is the simplest how-to ever made. I was going to do a post just showing the tags that I've been including in my orders lately, but I thought it would be fun to do this instead. God holding a camera and cutting something at the same time is hard. I have a new found respect for all those how-to blogs, or maybe they all have helpful boyfriends.

You will need these
-Dark patterned paper
-Light patterned paper
-Logo stamp, I got mine custom made from Jlmould-Ink pad
-Stickers, I got custom ones made from Moo
-Prit Stick
-Crimped edge scissors, I got mine in Msigns
1. Cut the dark paper into rectangles large enough to fit your stamp, then in a smaller shape cut the light paper with the crimped edge scissors. Then glue on the light coloured paper.
2.Place your lovely sticker on the left hand side, sometimes I like to choose something that matches the product that they have bought. After that write in thanks, merry christmas, or whatever.
3. Load ink onto your stamp and place carefully, press down, and lift of in one smooth movement, et voila c'est fini! This is a really good way of using up scrap bits of paper, and a cheap replacement for business cards. It also adds a lovely personal touch to your orders, I've had lots of customers comment on them. I tend to sit down and make a load of them in bulk so that I'm not doing this everytime I make a sale.

6 Apr 2010

Blog Tweaking

In a further attempt to make this blog a little more user friendly I have added some new labels down the side to try to help catagorize the clutter that was forming in the sidebar. I would love to be able to afford a total redesign making this a .com address and cleaning the blog into handy tabs. But for the meantime this will have to suffice. Hopefully it makes all the items a bit clearer. I also tried to install one of those animated cloud tags that rotates when you float over it but it wouldn't load. Maybe I was stretching my techy ability. I've been chatting with a few people lately about the whole website/blog thing. I have a website that I built myself a couple of years ago, it's really terrible and I have no clue how to edit it. I paid a grand to learn how to build it, I just wish I would have had the sense to use that money to pay someone else to build it. Back then I had no clue about blogs, starting one then would have been much better, and then I would have had a better idea of what I needed from a website. The coarse I did was really terrible and left me with no useful knowledge on how to build a decent website. I'm a little mortified to link to it, but here you go, click and have a giggle....have some pity it was my first and only attempt.

5 Apr 2010


I actually made these pincushions nearly two months ago and took the photos. I've no idea why it took me long long to list them in my etsy shop, I just got around to doing it this week.
I also should be getting lots of new supplies over the next week or so. I will be getting another large consignment of vintage supplies. Including mixed bags of vintage buttons, and an esoteric selection of knitting needles. I'm excited to see them and start listing my new range. I'm not really that clued into the whole knitting scene so I'll have to do a bit of research. Also included in this will be in avintage mannequin, I hear it's in pretty rough shape so I might spray paint or decopage it, and have it has a decoration in my living room.

4 Apr 2010

Sofa Day

I've been really busy with lots of different projects over the past few months so I decided to take it easy this week, well relatively. I made more brooches yesterday, they are the kind of thing I can make while I sit on the sofa and watch a movie (since we don't have tv). The general rules are I can't watch anything with subtitles as I can't sew and read at the same time. I tend not to watch really good films as I miss most of it. That mostly leaves rom-coms and stuff I've seen a million times. Yesterday for my veg out sewing marathon I watched
The Lady in the Water: A terrible M.Night Shyamalan movie, that is weirdly entertaining because of some very good performances. But at it's core it's trite. The subtly and charm of the small bit of magic in his other films is totally over blown in this one.
Love Actually: I know this is an awful film, it makes me cringe for half of it, but for some bizarre feel good fuzzy reason I like it. I watched it with the commentary so I didn't have to suffer through the awful bits with the kid in it.
About a Boy: A really sweet Nick Hornby story about how no man is an island. Also watched with the commentary on.
District 9: When John was home we watched this, a really great film, but it makes me feel queezy with the grossness. This broke my rule of watching something good while working. If you haven't seen it go rent it! It's a sci-fi movie set in the slums of Johannesburg shot in a documentary style.

2 Apr 2010

New Brooches

In preparation for the Sunday Bedford Row market starting back this week I've gone into brooch making over drive. I'm not sure if I'll make it this week, but definitely from the following Sunday this Christmas I'll be selling there every week from 12-5pm. Part of me excited to go back, and the other part is sad to say goodbye to my Sundays again, it is such a lovely day to have off.
Here is what I made yesterday, I won't be listing them in my Etsy shop, so if you want to pick one up they are 10 euro each at my stall.
Hope to see you there :)

1 Apr 2010

Doing a favour

Yesterday my friend Orla from Farapinalia came over and I took some photos of her beautiful handmade clothes on some 'models, ie friends of ours. Thanks ladies for being such troopers, I always feel weird when doing portrait photography as people need to be directed a little. Although these days everyone is watch America's Next Top Model, picking up lots of pointers.
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