Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A River of Guinness Perhaps? Caught My Eye 4

I'm no photographer, nor do I pretend to be. In fact, if I'm not using the macro button to shoot my jewellery and accessories up close for my Etsy store, I have to go for the Auto button and hope for the best. But I do like to take my camera when out rambling in the countryside.

Seaglass pendant shot with macro

In this section of my blog 'Caught my Eye' I like to share curious, funny or artistically appealing scenes that did just that when out and about.

Here are some pictures I took this week of a river of Guinness flowing alongside the reservoirs at Bohernabreena (or Bothernabriona) South of Dublin.
River Dodder at Bohernabreena
Ok, only joking. It's not really a river of Guinness but the river Dodder before it hits the burbs. I do believe the reddish brown colour is caused by the peaty soil of the Dublin mountains.
Lough Dan, Co Wicklow
Our famous (or infamous) bog lands lend this rich cocoa colour to many lakes and rivers in Ireland, particularly in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains and the midlands. I got this shot of the golden brown water of Lough Dan last Autumn but the intensity of the rich chestnut of the Dodder water took me by surprise.

I will be back to share photos and info on my recent hike around the reservoir as Bohernabreena. If you would like to see photos of the Irish countryside that inspires me to create click HERE

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What's in a Name

Lately I have been making tweaks and improvements to my online store. The most important one was to change my Etsy shop name and therefor, my user name, from byAMOR to Handmade by Amor, in line with my shop front.
A year ago, I wrote an article for the Etsy Ireland team blog about the delicate operation of choosing a shop name and my rookie folly of choosing byAMOR as my user name. Read about it HERE.  
The old URL will still work by redirecting to the new one

Since then, Etsy have made it possible to change your user name. I finally managed to streamline my user name to go with my branding and identity, Handmade by Amor . The new URL is http://www.etsy.com/shop/HandmadebyAmor but the old one will still redirect so no harm done there. I chose to do this as the term byAMOR just doesn't seem to stick in people's minds and according to my google stats, is never used to find me, where as Handmade by Amor is. I believe and hope I have made the right choice.

Monday, June 18, 2012

More Etsy Treasuries June

Looks like it's Etsy Treasury time again. With the onset of summer, colour is everywhere now.

Thank you Carrie, of Cherry Blossom Tattoo for featuring my orange agate purse charm in this cheerful rainbow collection.

And thank you once more to Lynn of Lynn's Creative Crochet for not one but another two stunning treasuries, the one above featuring my amethyst earrings and the one below featuring my multi gem, grey necklace, Sorpresa. (Lynn I am grateful for all you do. Thank you.)
Ashes and Roses (Mary Chapin Carpenter) by Lynn's Creative Crochet

And another gorgeous Treasury, 'Purple Collection' by DKHM featured my purple berry pendant. Thank you Dina!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Murder Mystery Game Costume Inspirations

One of my friends is hosting a murder mystery party for her birthday next weekend. The story is set in the swinging 60s in the UK. Last year she did the same, but the theme was 1940s.
It was so much fun getting to play dress up like kids, then acting our parts for the night. We laughed so much that we cried. For most of us, using whatever resources we had to create a suitable costume proved challenging but was just as much fun as the night itself. I let my imagination loose and didn't need to buy a single prop or piece of clothing, though one or two of my friends found charity shops a very useful resource.
my effort at 1940s costume
I had no pencil skirt, so I wore a narrow black slip with a petticoat underneath to make it less see-through and did my best to roll my hair up following instructions on You-tube. The hair went fairly wonky, but that just made it funnier. I made a fake cigarette and long holder out of cardboard. I even drew a black 'stocking seam' up the back of my legs using liquid eyeliner, as they did in the 40s if they couldn't afford real stockings. 

 I got to wear the same costume again when I took part in the Fancy dress Mingle Market last summer. (Now re-opened on Thomas Street, Dublin 8)
This time round, my 1960s character is a famous journalist and I'm meant to dress all in black with a dash of red lipstick. (If you know this particular mystery game, please say nothing...don't give the game away but do please feel free to share your costume ideas!)

I was searching the net for inspiration and as it's down to what I've got to hand, I think I've come to an idea for a look halfway between sixties style icons, Brigitte Bardot (after all her middle name was Anne-Marie!) Click here for Google images, and Jane Asher,  who interviewed the Beatles, something my journalist character might have done.  Click here for Google images
I have my costume almost sorted and if turns out OK I will share any decent photos here next week.

I haven't yet got the hang of the beehive, even with those little hidden hair props you can buy. So I ordered what was meant to be a 60s style wig from a cotume shop in Cavan.....it arrived today and it's not a wig. It's a monster that seems to be growing more hair each time I look at it. It is nothing like it's sleek photo on the website.

It will not tame but as I have nothing else, I may wear it anyway for its comedic value. Perhaps a big hairband or bandeau like Bardot's will sort it out. I'll let you know........

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In The Pink

Those of you who know my more serious work will think I am away with the fairies these days. And you would be right:
Butterfly Fairy Ornament
I've gone all girlie lately. Yesterday I introduced my new line of angels and fairies and other pink ornaments into my Etsy shop, Handmade by Amo'r. Today the frivolity continues.

Pink heart ornament

Baby girl angel charm, ornament or sun catcher
 And I have more to come! All this magic and cutesiness is making me dizzy. I blame it on my charming young niece. Click HERE to see how it all started.

I think I best list a few Irish seaglass and Connemara marble items and restore some order......

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Arrival: Baby Girl Angel

Just a quick update today, to share the new arrival in my Etsy Store: Handmade by Amo'r

Pink crystal baby angel ornament or pendant

Hang this crystal baby angel on the rear view mirror, on the Christmas tree, in your window as a sun catcher, on a chain or ribbon for a necklace. This sparkling cutie is an deal gift for a new Mom, a baptism memento, or for someone who has passed their driving test perhaps. She is made of pretty pink crystal with AB sheen and twinkles gorgeously when she reflects light.

(Not intended for children. Keep out of reach of small children)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cliff Fire. Caught My Eye 3.

Just thought I'd share another scene that caught my eye. Out walking the cliffs in Howth on a rare hot day two weeks ago, smoke from a brush fire cut off our path towards the Baily Lighthouse. Thankfully the fire brigade were managing the fire. By the time we turned back to this spot near the summit car park, it had been directed down the cliff face towards the water where it would extinguish.
 Here's my disaster movie take on it. And if the fire had not been contained, it could have been quite a nasty disaster. There still remains blackened evidence of a previous gorse and bramble fire on these cliffs, which I have been told dates back to a serious fire in 1999. (In 2000 the area was designated a Special Amenity Area, under the order, SAAO and there is a special fire management policy in place.)
I will post more scenes of our cliff walk before long. In the meantime, Click HERE for more scenes of the beautiful Irish countryside that inspires me artistically. Click HERE for curious or interesting scenes that caught my eye.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Craft in the Crypt

Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
Last Monday, 4 June, I took part in the bank holiday craft market at Christ Church Cathedral in the heart of medieval Dublin. 
ByAmo'r in Christ Church Cathedral crypt
 The market took place inside the atmospheric crypt, which is an amazing place to visit in itself. Built in the late 12th century, the crypt is the oldest surviving structure in the city. It is also the largest crypt in Britain and Ireland (63.4m long).
Heli is wearing one of her fabulous tufted lambs wool scarves
I shared a stall with Heli of HeliMG and Heli Creations. Above her head is one of her beautifully hand crocheted lanterns with led lighting. She tells me there are only two left in this limited addition so get em while you can!

We also shared our nook with King Charles I and King Charles II, who looked over our shoulders. (apologies for these awful photos...I only know how to photo jewellery up close!) These are the oldest known secular statues in Ireland. They took pride of place outside the old Tholsel (medieval town hall) which stood across the road until the early 1800s. According to a friendly tour guide (whom we listened in on) the statues were at that time, stoned and defaced by locals rebelling against the British seat. 


Many of the tourists passing through commented that it was an unusual place to hold a craft market, but interestingly, there was a market held there in medieval times. So perhaps it's not so strange. What I do find strange though, is that centuries ago there were also 2 taverns in the crypt selling beer and wine! One was called Paradise and the other Hell! We joked with the visitors as to which one we were in! 
Irish seaglass pendant (SOLD)
Though slow to start, as tourists don't tend to shop until the end of their day) the market went well for me.  My Irish seaglass pendants and bookmarks won the day in the end.
OOAK Irish seaglass fairy (SOLD)
My new line of fairy ornaments, charms, pendants, and/or sun catchers also proved a winner. From one market day to another you can never tell what is going to be popular.  I will be introducing my fairies and angels to my Etsy shop very shortly. 
crystal angel, Handmade by Amo'r (more coming soon)

 I currently have one seaglass fairy listed in the form of this bookmark. More exciting designs to come. Watch this space....

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Etsy Treasury Time Again

It's that time again when I share recent Etsy treasuries either made by me or featuring one of my items. Feast your eyes and appreciate handcraft, OOAK, handmade, original artwork, unique gifts, once-off, one of a kind......need I say more?

 To Market To Market
Here's a treasury I made featuring only Crafty Ireland Team members when I should have been preparing for a craft market.

Can't Help Thinking In Black and White by La Creature and You
(a blend of Crafty Ireland Team and  A Printmaker's Revival Team)

And this sleek treasury in black and white was made by fellow team member, Raphaele of La Creature and You. It is a cross-team collection featuring 50% Crafty Ireland team and 50% A Print Makers Revival Team. A special thanks is due to Raphaele as she regularly makes cross-team treasuries to introduce the Irish squad to other, international teams on Etsy and faithfully posts them on the team blog. Thank you too Raphaele for including my black lava earrings, Dark Moon.

Thank you to all these lovely Etsy peeps around the globe who featured my work in their stunning treasuries this past week or so:

USA based, Lynn Corrigan, deserves a special thank you from me as she regularly features my items in her well-thought out treasuries.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sneak Preview

Here's a sneak preview of new items I've been making lately. Don't forget to pop into Christ Church Cathedral craft market tomorrow, June bank holiday Monday and see them for yourself if you can!
Inspired, by fairytale sessions with my 5 year old niece, I've been experimenting with different designs for pretty fairy and angel ornaments, hanging decorations and charms.

Irish seaglass angel - suncatcher or wishdoll

Irish seaglass bookmark

Come see more of my beaded hook bookmarks at the market . This one is made with Irish seaglass.

Connemara marble ornament

I've also been wiring up new, unique, Connemara marble ornaments. I am even going to bring just one or two of the more festive ones too for those who shop for Christmas all year round. Get em while you can!

And of course, you can see some of my usual jewellery and gifts from my Etsy store!

Doors open 12-5pm. See this post for more info