Sunday, 22 April 2012

Eyes Open Ireland

Hello Crafty Peeps!

This weeks
 Eyes Open Ireland
is brought to you by
Tracy from  Quirky Apple

Tracy says......
My crafting inspiration: Markets
I love colour, I love strong bright colours, I love contrasting colours and clashing colours.  So when I travel I love to go somewhere that has plenty of colour.  Ireland is one of the prettiest places in the world with plenty of greens and blues…but sometimes I long for those shocking pinks and deep citrus colours.  When I travel I take photos of everything and have found it is the photos of markets that inspire me the most.  These photos become my “colour mood board” for creating patchwork and sewing, the shapes the starting point for wreaths and knitwear.
So, firstly we have the artsists’ market in Montmarte, Paris.  Many of the artists do not allow photographs so it is very difficult to convey the colours and feeling in a photo.  The area is also full of amazing restaurants and cafes.  When I am lucky enough to go to Paris my first stop after unpacking is a trip here for a glass of Champagne and just people watch.

Next travel destination that has inspired me is Guadaloupe. This is an island in the Caribbean and so sights, sound, smell and experiences are very Caribbean but the island is French so in fact you never leave the EU when you travel here.  The culture is an amazing combination of French, Caribbean and Indian as many workers settled here to work on the sugar plantations. This picture shows an amazing selection of fresh fruit.  These colours fit so well together in nature and I use this for ideas when fabric shopping.

Another inspirational place is the people and markets of The Dordogne in France.  Sarlat is an old medieval town with one of the busiest weekly markets, the colour, sound and smells were amazing…and if you were cheeky enough you get to eat and drink enough samples to allow you to skip lunch.  We bought enough to have a picnic lunch but passed up the opportunity to buy truffles at €250 a kilo.

Still in Europe and this market is in Prague.  This sells fruit and veg, jewellery, puppets and other craft items.  So tempting that I had to remember I had a baggage weight allowance.

My final two destinations had my favourite markets, strong colours, strong scents and amazing people.  I find it hard to decide which of these I prefer and the markets alone are reason enough to return.  They are the street market in Venice and the weekly market in Monastir, Tunisia.
The Venice market just off the Grand Canal sells all type of food.  It was the fish that mostly caught my eye, such an amazing selection and not a “fishy” smell at all.

The weekly market is Monastir, Tunisia is an amazing place. The first part of the market is walled and has livestock and meat...the meat is sold alive.   We seen an old “putt putt” motorbike with an arab man driving, his wife in a burka sitting side sadle and holding a live kid goat and pulling a trailer filled with hens. The second part , also walled has produce and spices…the colour was amazing and these photos could never do justice to the sights and smells.  The last part of the market is on the street and has crafts, particularly leather products and pottery.  We bought hand painted tiles (and carried them home on a plane) that are now a feature wall in our bathroom  Tunisia is a  shoppers heaven.

The majority of these photos feature food so it will be no surprise to you to discover that one of my careers was in catering and that I love cooking at home.  This may be why many of my products are food related or table top items such as table mats and centre-pieces.

I hope you enjoy these photos and maybe they will encourage you to take your own inspirational photos.

I have used some of these photos to make mood boards to guide me when fabric shopping.  To see how I do this please visit my blog

Thank you Tracy for sharing your fab pics with us!
What gorgeous colours and interesting places!
You can check out Tracys beautiful work in her Etsy Shop
Picnic set: 4 each table mats, napkin and napkin rings in a handy carry bag, spring colours
And you can find Tracy on Facebook

If you would like to share your favourite pictures with us please contact me through my Etsy shop
Until Next Time



  1. Oh wow!!! I love markets, and your pictures are such a treat!!! I can nearly smell the spices :)

  2. Great pics. Love the last ones in particular. Markets inspire me to eat!!! :-)

  3. I enjoyed that read - digital cameras are the best - brings the memories alive again. You have a great eye for colour as is reflected in your pics. Thanks. Eve

  4. Stunning and interesting also :) thanks