I remember when Ruth talked about the Irish Blog Awards last year, and now they were coming to Belfast! Although our team blog was not shortlisted this year *HRMPH*, I was interested in attending the ceremony on 19 March, since it was nearly on my doorstep. Then Ruth came up with this brilliant idea that Etsy Ireland should sponsor the Goody Bags for the Ladies Tea Party - a friendly get-together with food and wine for Ireland's women bloggers - to make those bags extra special, and I was to be the Etsy Ireland representative there.
This was, of course, St Patrick's week, and after coming close to being a social recluse for the last few weeks (hunched over my knitting and with no money to my name), I suddenly had three fun events coming up back to back. So I was a bit exhausted came Saturday, but at least by that stage had re-learned the ancient skill of dressing up. After weeks in jogging pants and sweat-shirt, often covered in fibre or threads, I was now back in a dress. Go me!
The Ladies Tea Party was fun! There were about 20 amazing Ladies who blogged or had an interest in blogging, and conversation was easy, because everybody was so friendly and chatty. And one of the many topics of conversation were the Goody Bags. The main sponsor was Baglitz which produces amongst other things, handbag hangers for your table when you are out and want to keep your bag safe. It took me a while to work out how they operate, but they are rather snazzy. I have plans to use mine to hang up a bag of knitting or spinning supplies when my working table is too crowded...
Edward James Hair and Beauty also provided some hair products (great! I ran out of some), and Life is Sweet provided sumptuous cupcakes.
However, it was Etsy Ireland who really outdid themselves, if that's possible ;) Ruth had sent up the parcel of parcels with the other half of Bettyoctopus, who got stuck in traffic on the way from Limerick, but accomplished his mission just in time. When Sabrina opened the parcel I nearly squeeed (or maybe I did), because it contained so many wonderful handcrafted goodies! Waves of greed washed over me there and then, and I was wondering if I could make a run for it with the parcel under my arm!
So many Etsians had sent donations, some more than one, also the Northern Irish Etsians Placed, JanMary and myself had donated something, so the bags were really nicely filled to the delight of the Ladies! Everyone loved the handcrafted gifts, we were showing what we've got to each other, and those who had been at previous Tea Parties commented that these were the best goody bags ever.
I was so proud of the team, and it was so wonderful to see all the things the team members had created. It was great to say 'I know who made this', and to admire the skill and creativity that went into the items.
The Tea Party was the best of the Irish Blog Awards in my view, because it was so much fun. There was food, wine, coffee, delicious cupcakes, chat, laughter - and I also got to meet two lovely Etsians in person, René from Placed and Jan Mary from Janmary Designs.
However, I did enjoy the Awards, too, and learnt some interesting facts. I only knew one of the shortlisted blogs, but I know now that there are such blogs called arseblog and ouchmyfannyhurts and blog posts that compare the present taoiseach to a part of the male anatomy. I also noticed hat many things can be made from foam, for instance letters, cups and guitars - the later were used to rock it out on stage!
I also met the delightful Lola Dee, another team member, whose blog was shortlisted for an Award.
Despite food, more cupcakes and the promise of dancing, I wussed out about 11pm, dying for a cuppa tea and then bed - so much for being a party animal. I need to get my dancing stamina back which might have got lost amongst all the crafting!
The next day, I took a picture of all my goodies, before I ate the chocolates and used the soap!
I got (anti-clockwise):
- a gorgeous beaded textile necklace from Queen of Cuffs
- brilliant soap from Daisy Chain Crafts
- a scrunchie which I am guessing came with the hair products from Edward James Hair and Beauty
- a beautiful card from Placed
- a groovy bottle opener saying 'I love Word' and a discount voucher from Nice Day Designs
- a handbag hanger from Baglitz
- 'Emily and Constantine', a striking postcard from Tanya Bond
- 'Overactive rooftops', a great textile print from Marisposa Vintage
- Delicious chocolates by DovVinia (coming soon: http://www.dovvinia.net)