Thursday, 30 September 2010

Crafty Ireland Celebrates Wedding Anniversaries. Part 2.

Hi Anne-Marie of Handmade by Amo’r back with part two in the mini-series on Wedding Anniversaries. This time let’s take a peek at the meaning behind traditional gifts given on the 3rd through 5th anniversaries. It may be of use to you as a shopping guide or simply for tagging purposes if you are an Etsy seller. And yes, it’s also an excuse to eye up some goodies from the very talented Crafty Ireland team.

Leather is the traditional gift for the 3rd anniversary both over here and in the USA. Chosen for its durability and flexibility, it also represents resilience and strength in the marriage. It was hard to choose from the fabulous leather goodies from the team, but I thought to kick off with something for the men folk. Silkstone Designs makes cool leather cuffs featuring guitar picks, which are available with your own personal message.

Modern gifts for this anniversary include crystal goods. Gemstones for the 3rd anniversary are pearl or jade.

In this corner of the world, the 4th wedding anniversary is celebrated with flowers and fruit. Apparently, you are supposed to give flowers to her and fruit to him, but there are no hard and fast rules. Flowers represent the blossoming and growth of the relationship. Jolie Art’s pretty flower prints stuck me as a thoughtful alternative to an actual bouquet.

Fruit represents long life and renewal. If you’d like to give something longer lasting than a fruit basket, may I suggest this fresh and original oil painting of raspberries by Tanya Bond?

In the USA however, the 4th anniversary is marked with linen or silk. My research indicates that there is more of a practical reasoning behind these gifts than any spiritual symbolism. Sheets or tableware are usually given. However, linen and silk are more expensive and durable than cotton which is given in the first two years of marriage. Therefore, these luxurious materials could symbolise that the marriage has moved on to better things.

Handmade by Sima offers beautifully hand printed table runners in linen.

Or, moving away from traditional home ware, how about this cute, linen headband from A Room In The Cottage?

As for himself, you might prefer to give something lovingly made by you, perhaps using this quality, linen-mix wool from Woolly Gathering.

Wooden objects are given on the 5th anniversary on both sides of the Atlantic sea. Wood symbolises strength and firm friendship, two ideas evoked by this hand carved wall hanging by Jack Dolan. Though intended as a housewarming gift, it is just as suitable to mark 5 years of sharing the same roof.

The gems for this milestone are pink tourmaline and sapphire.

Not to leave out those of us who are still foot loose and fancy free, you might like a read of this article on gifts for the unhitched by Brigitte of Purls of Colour. That reminds me, has anyone seen my frog Prince? He appears to have scarpered after all the female attention following part 1 in this series.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Team Treasuries! Autumn in the Air

We have a running theme here! Autumn is being embraced with our treasury makers this week. I love Autumn, it's my favourite time of year. Have the leaves started changing where you are? Ours are still Green, but I'm anxious for the lovely colours of Fall.

First up, Irish Autumn by Jesse of homespunireland

Next we have, When Autumn meets Winter by Darerca

and lastly, one of mine, Autumn in Ireland...

As usual, please click, comment, share these lovely collections around! And if you are featured in one, congratulations!

Keep 'em coming!
:) Rach

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

How to plait onions

Today's 'How to' comes from me, aka Brigitte from purlsofcolour, who wants to show you how to plait onions.



Well, plaiting is crafty and onions are foody, and cooking is also a craft, so...

Most of you have probably seen strands of beautifully plaited onions (or garlic) hanging from kitchen windows or market stalls in France. My neighbour told me she remembers when French onion sellers used to come on the ferry over to England, cycled to the towns and cities with strings of onions around their necks, and sold onions on the plait.

Now you can have a bit of the French lifestyle in your own home!

I recently was at a fabulous place called Laurieston Hall, a co-operative in Scotland which grows most of their own vegetables in an amazing garden.* And there, we learnt that a good way to store onions is to hang them up, so that air can circulate around them. That's where the plaiting comes in.

This is one method I learnt - there is another one, but I had so much fun with this one, I never got round to learn the other way to plait onions...

Grab 12 onions that are cleaned from dirt, with the stalks still attached. Take three onions and place them beside each other with the middle one slightly lying lower than the side ones. Tie a string around the stalks of all three and align the string with the stalk of the middle one - this will stabilise the plait, especially when the stalks are very dry and a bit brittle.

Now start the plaiting of the stalks and the string, as if in French plaiting. Add another onion above the middle one and plait the stalk, then add one to one side, then an onion to the other side, then another one in the middle...plaiting and weaving the stalks in continuously.

A dozen onions is a good size for a plait, but use less if you feel the plait is too heavy and could break - fix the string around the end of the plait and make a loop so that you can hang them up.


Onion plaiting is really fun to do and strangely satisfying - it's a hands-on, very 'earthy' job, and you know your belly will profit from it. That surely can't be a bad thing...

There is something really beautiful about lots and lots of plaited onions!

(My stomach aches for onion Quiche or the German Zwiebelkuchen - so yummy!)

When I returned to Belfast, I was looking out for onions with the stalks still attached so that I could plait them, but alas, looks like I have to grow my own for to do that!

*Laurieston Hall will host a craft week from 11-18 June 2011, which will particularly focus on folk arts and crafts that are low tech and use natural or recycled materials. I really want to participate, and I'll let you know when I get more information.

Monday, 27 September 2010


Greetings from the Crafty News Desk
(This week's picture was taken in the wilds of Cork earlier this year)

Some interesting news items in this week.

Looking for children's product designers!!!
"We are on the lookout for crafters and artists interested in making and selling beautiful children's and baby products at our new market based in central Dublin. Be it clothes, room decorations, books, bags or toys for the little ones what we are really interested in is originality and quality of design. We will be hand picking our stalls as we want our market to have beautifully made, high quality, original and good value items.  If you think you would be interested in showcasing and selling your products on one of our stalls please contact Averil by email:
Thanks Avril, I am sure many of our crafters will be in touch soon.


"I'm teaching needle felting and selling wool at CELT in the woods; two days (weekend) of workshops in a beautiful woodland setting. I just thought, perhaps more people like to join in or simply visit. It is lovely and it happens twice a year, March and October.  Next CELT Weekend in the Woods Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd October, Bealkelly Oak Woods, Tuamgraney, Co"

(2 day workshops in Traditional Crafts / Sustainable & Ecological Skills)
Sounds like fun, thanks for letting us know Jenny.


Some giveaways on Facebook:


Etsy coming to Ireland!!!!!!!! How exciting is that.
By now I am sure you have all read the report on the meetings coming up in Galway and Dublin...
I am sorry I cant make the Dublin meeting as I am away with family for the weekend.  I do hope you all have great fun and learn loads. Let us know how you get on.

That's about it for this week.
As always, let me know if anything is happening in your area that you think people would like to hear.


Saturday, 25 September 2010

Tea and a Chat: Bridget from Bridget Farmer Prints

Hola!  Welcome everyone to 'Tea and a Chat With' on this fine Saturday.  Today we are delving into the creative mind of Bridget from BridgetFarmerPrints who administers Eyes Open Ireland, another wonderful series on this here blog!  Put the kettle on....

Tell us a bit about what you do?
I am mainly a printmaker who has other projects on the go all the time, that's why I currently have four, yes four, etsy shops.  I agree it is one or two too many.  I find it difficult to stick with just one thing, although I long to do so.  I call my printmaking work my 'serious' work.  It mainly involves copper plate etching which I do in the Belfast Print Workshop.  I'm also really into Artist Books.  That is, artist made books as a form of art. 

If you weren’t a crafty type, what would you be doing?
Probably something to do with birds but I think I would be very frustrated not being about to make things.

Any amazing blogs that you’d like to share?
I love Sue Brown's blog, she's a printmaker in England and her work is so beautiful.

I also love my friend Anna's blog of Able and Game.  She and her partner make cards that are very witty and so is their blog, well worth a read.

And Jenny of Yarn Soup, her work is just gorgeous!

What are your top 5 films of all time?
Oh gosh, ummm, well, Little Miss Sunshine, I've never laughed so much in a cinema, or for weeks after thinking about it.
One from my childhood, The Princess Bride, brilliant ...'my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!'
A good old one from my teenage years Dead Poets Society, my friend and I used to act out the final scene behind the curtain in the gym when we should have been playing badminton in P.E class. 'Oh captain my captain'
Recently I watched Bright Star.  I never let myself cry in films if other people are around, but I watched this while on a plane to Australia.  It was during the volcano incident so there were very few people on this plane and I had no one around me, it was night, it was dark and I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed, tears flowing freely.  Brilliant!
I really really liked Stranger Than Fiction, even though I don't like Will Farrel it is one of my favourite films and he is very UN Will Farrel in it.  Maggie Gyllenhaal and Emma Thompson are great in it.

What was your mother always right about?
I made a book about this, you can see it here!

Lastly some linky goodness, where can we find you?

Blog -
Facebook -

and all those etsy shops!!

Nice one Bridget, easy on those shops now!  Thanks for reading and see you for the next posting y'all!

Angela (a.k.a. artysmarty

Eyes Open Ireland

This Eyes Open Ireland is from Ellen of Spiral Godess. She lives in Rathvilly, Co. Carlow

Ellen says, "Across the road from our home there is an amazing 'Enchanted Forest'. You walk in and at once you are transported into the magical realm of Fairies, Goblins, & Magical Creatures, Wee Folk live here and have done for hundreds of years. We spend hours searching for fairies and pixies but they turn into butterflies when they hear us come near and flutter by our faces to thank us for visiting. We found their homes that are hidden in trees and left our written wishes at their doorways. There is a magical cave we haven't investigated yet as Daddy thinks he heard a Dragon breathing and we are not sure if he's friendly. My inspiration comes from places like this and watching my girls total belief as they point out fairy rings and magical things. In the Spring it is covered in Bluebells, Summer it is lush and dense, Autumn it is full of fruits to be picked and made into jam and in the Winter you can almost hear it sleep as you watch your breath disappear into it."

"I love this place as it Heals and Inspires me in every way."

Friday, 24 September 2010

Fab Five on Friday

Today I've gathered up some amazing items from Etsy sellers who are promoting re-used and repurposed or upcycled materials in their products.

Featured items:
Solid Pure Silver Heart Key Necklace by SilkstoneDesigns
Recycled Seatbelt Wall Art Assemblage by lilgreenshop
Irish Sea Glass Pendant by byAMOR
Upcycled Washer Czech Glass Necklace by balanced
Make Do and Mend Pocket Mirror by nicedaydesigns

Chosen by Beth of magpieandbutton.

As always, if you would like to suggest or curate a Fab Five on Friday, just send me an Etsy convo :) 

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Etsy Galway and Dublin Meet-Ups!

Now we can officially reveal what has been organised behind the scenes: Liz Wald, Director, International Business Development at Etsy will be visiting Ireland and meeting with Etsy sellers, shoppers and anyone else interested in Etsy:

= = = = = = =

Greetings from New York!

Below are the details for the meet-ups I am planning in Galway and Dublin. Please feel free to spread the word as these gatherings are open to sellers and shoppers, as well as anyone who is just interested in learning more about Etsy. I will also put a post on the Storque with these details. The more the merrier!

Wed, Oct 6 - in Galway 19:00-21:00 at the Townhouse Bar (on second floor)
Saturday Oct 9 - in Dublin 14:00 - 16:00 at Snail Bar (aka No Name Bar) - attention! venue changed to Market Bar

Don't be scared off by the crazy Townhouse Bar website--we have first hand knowledge that the venue will be stable :) Our first choice was Jurys Inn (which is across the street from Townhouse) but they are apparently having a private event. I'm told you can still use the Jurys car park.

As for the Dublin meet-up, we've moved it to Saturday at the Snail Bar which I understand is a regular meeting time and place...I also hear the brunch is good so I may show up early and try it out :)

Special thanks to Letizia for letting you all know, as well as to Brigitte Anton and Mary Ryan for helping me organize the locations.

I look forward to meeting you all!

= = = = = = =

Could people let us know here if you plan to attend - suggestions or ideas for the meetings are also welcome!

Woah, I am very excited about this!!!

The beautiful
Raven Halloween Mug comes from Spiralgodess' Etsy shop.

Tiny Box Company Discount

We are delighted to announce that Tiny Box Company have organised a discount for Etsy Ireland Team members.

Tiny Box Company only offers recycled packaging and eco friendly packaging so are a great choice for the environmentally minded crafters out there. Don't worry though there is no compromise on visuals they still look as good as other boxes & even better than many more on the market.I love that you can buy individual boxes & mix 'n' match so many different sizes, patterns & colours. From paper bags to photography boxes, they even have tissue paper & ribbons so Tiny Box Company really is a one stop shop for all your packaging needs.

At the moment their checkout facility is only available for UK residents but they are in the process of changing their website to accommodate Irish customers. So for the moment we can only order through e-mail (hello[at] or over the phone (+44 1342 810900) but don't let that stop you from quoting your discount code. Details have been e-mailed out to members so check your inbox & if you haven't already sent me on your e-mail address, please do.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Team Treasuries!

Happy Wednesday, folks!
We've got 4!! new team treasuries for you this week. You guys have been busy! Well done!

I'm so thrilled to see so many Crafty Ireland Team treasuries!
As always, be sure to click, comment and share these treasuries so we can make them HOT!
Front page here we come. ;)

:) Rach

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

How to make a recycled Gift Bow

I hate to throw anything out, ANYTHING, but this is something that a lot of people won't throw out. What am I talking about? Gift Bags, you know the ones with ropey handles that have been reused one too many times & have a few too many creases, but still, I can't throw them out. Then they start to build up & I know that eventually I'll make something with them, right? Well no, not until I have to!

So bring on a weekend when I'm not feeling the best & I have a present for a children's birthday party but no Gift wrap. Finally I decide to use one of my old gift bags and try to make a bow or something that resembles a bow to dress up the present a little bit.

Here's the step by step:

1. Tear off the handles, sides & base of the gift bag (Try not to keep them, throw them in the recycle, ah go on). You can use one side to make one bow. Cut the bag into five equal strips of approx. 13 x 1.25 inches. I used a fancy punch (you can just make out what the image was on the gift bag in picture 1.) but I'm sure it will work just as well with straight solid strips.

2. Take the first strip in your hand, curl it & stick edge at the half-way mark.

3. Turn the whole thing around & repeat step 2.

4. You should end up with the loopy 3D figure 8 shown in picture 4. Make four more of these loopy figure 8s.

5. Put double sided sticky tape at the back of each loopy figure 8

6. To make the centre of the bow repeat step 2. but stick the edge at about the quarter-way mark, keep your thumb holding it together.

7. Curl the strip around your thumb.

8. Loop the tail edge & stick it in the middle. That's your centre done.

9. Turn two figure 8's upside down facing opposite directions and stick together.

10. Stick the next loopy 8 on top right side up facing a different direction from the last two.

11. Stick the last loopy 8 on top right side up again facing a different direction from the last three.

12. Stick the bow centre in the middle in between all the loops.

If you want to see the step by step in larger pictures you can find them on my facebook page in the album How to make a recycled Gift Bow

Monday, 20 September 2010


Greetings from the Crafty News Desk.
(Meet Curious George, one of my admirers from the recent trip to Portugal....)

News in this week via Letizia - OOakie -

  • Liz Wald, the Director of International Business Development at Etsy will be in Ireland in October and is interested in meeting up with some of the Irish Etsy people.  She has suggested 2 dates and venues >   Galway on 6 October and Dublin on 8 October. 

  • If you are interested in  being kept in the loop send a RSVP to   Add your interest here too with a comment at the end.
News of some upcoming Markets :

  • CASTLECONNELL CRAFT FAIR, Co Limerick October 24th & 25th via website

  • DESIGNER ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR in Rosscarbery, Co Cork, Sunday 7th November 

  • ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIR - GRAND HOTEL, WICKLOW TOWN Sunday 28th November   6ft stands are priced at €70. contact via website
  • Trinity Church Network’s 3rd Annual Winter Fair is taking place at The Exchange Building, Gardiner Street, Dublin 1,on the 20th November (11am- 4pm). Now taking applications for stall holders. Tables cost €20. Closing date for applications is the 30th October 2010.    Please state type of craft when applying. Contact to at or phone 01 874 0000.
Any other Autumn/Christmas opportunities out there that we should know about??

Great to hear about the regrowth of craft skills in the classroom:
"Children to be taught new skills by craftspeople in the classroom"

Are there any budding writers out there who would love to share their ideas with the readers?  If so, please get in touch with Brigitte at we would love to hear from you.


As always do keep in touch with what is happening in your area.  Send news through the link on the side of the blog or add to the end of this report.


Sunday, 19 September 2010

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Team Member Discount

We are delighted to announce that Treasure Bin have organised a discount for Etsy Ireland Team members.

Treasure Bin is a craft shop located in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. They have a great selection of supplies online from Paper Crafts & Jewellery Making to Cakeware & Knitting. So for days (or weather) when you can't get to the local craft shop make sure to check them out. You can even use your discount in the Special Offers section so that means even better special offers.

If it's not craft supplies you're after maybe the Mind, Body, Spirit section will interest you. There you can find Books, Cd's, Incense and plenty more to soothe your soul after a long day at the market or a busy day in the studio.

We have to say a huge thankyou to Teresa for organising the discount & I hope it comes in useful for lots of you. Details have been e-mailed out to members so check your inbox & if you haven't already sent me on your e-mail address, please do, there's no better time :)

Friday, 17 September 2010

Fab Five on Friday

Today we have a juicy injection of bright colour to enjoy :) All of these adorable handmade goodies from Ireland made me smile. I just love a splash of colour!

Add a fruity punch to your outfit with BeeLiciousCrafts' strawberry earrings or this zingy orange felt lily brooch by knitspinfelt. For a colourful home, why not place a handmade house by irisoconnor on your bookshelf or windowsill, or brighten up a room with TanyaMac's carnaby garland. Oh, and wouldn't patchworkdelights' log cabin pincushion look perfectly cute on your little craft table?

Chosen by Beth of magpieandbutton.
As always, if you would like to suggest or curate a Fab Five on Friday, just send me an Etsy convo :) 

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Introducing Amorio


We're Aoife and Sandro, an Irish - Colombian couple living in Dublin, and our little shop on Etsy is called amorio. We always get asked what it means - but it has no meaning, it's just something I thought sounded cute! We started listing about 2 months ago and have yet to make our first sale*, but we are definitely going to start listing more especially as winter is approaching and the thought of outdoor markets is not too appealing! We've just got a new camera, so are trying to improve our photos on Etsy...the standard has really been set high!

Sandro has been making crafts forever, everything from woodwork to ceramics to leather work. He took up jewellery making when he started travelling around Colombia because the materials weren't too bulky, so were easy to travel with.

Our paths crossed 3 years ago in a hostel in Quito, Ecuador. Since then we've spent a lot of time travelling all over Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Sandro taught me how to make macramé jewellery and he makes all of the wire work. Materials are abundant in South America and we sourced all the semi precious stones we use in Peru. Shopping for stones is definitely my favourite past time, and we always seem to spend more than intended and make our bags way too heavy every time we visit!

Jewellery making was a great way to fund our travels. Although the manner of selling is a lot different than in Ireland - there we could just lay a piece of fabric down and set up shop on a street or by the beach - so we're still trying to get used to all the requirements that go along with selling at markets and fairs here!

We've been following the blog for a while now, so will be watching out for the next meet up to meet some of you in person, until then thanks for reading!

Amorio on Etsy
Amorio on Facebook
Amorio on Flickr

*Since the article was written, Amorio has made its first sale. Congratulations!!!