Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ideas or Inspirations?

My little nephew's bedroom is in the process of being decorated by his parents. While I was looking for inspiration for them I stumbled across some wonderful kid's furniture by German company HABA.

Waking up in one of these beds every morning would feed any child's imagination!

Summer House Bed

Sleeping Beauty Bed

This cloud couch is designed deep enough for kids to lie down, while parents sit comfortably to read them stories.

Rugs create the ideal play area, here are a few nice ones from HABA

Ok I've just gone through putting up this entire post, only to discover that HABA is not available in Ireland... Lets just call the items above "ideas" or "inspirations"! The beds would be easy enough to replicate if you know a good carpenter, or if you live in one of the countries listed here you're sorted!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Monsoon Kitchen

As promised, here are a couple of more items from Monsoon Home. Maz has been in search of the perfect apron for some time now. Click here to read about it. Well, especially for you Maz, here are a couple more that I've found. I love these country-kitchen style ones that look very Laura Ashley-influenced. Just looking at them makes me feel like baking!

Both GB £22. (approx. €32.)

There are also matching peg bags and oven mits for each item...

Mallow Home & Garden Festival...

... will take place this weekend - Fri. June 29th, Sat. June 30th and Sun. Jul 1st at the Cork Racecourse, Mallow Co. Cork

There will be:

  • Live Demonstrations
  • Massive Used Car Sale
  • Energy Show
  • Free Seminars
  • Professional Advice
  • Landscaped Gardens
  • International Market
  • Interiors
  • Self Build and DIY
  • Renewable Energy

Unfortunately I can't make it as I'll be relaxing in the Aran Islands for the weekend :) but it should be a good one so do pay it a visit if you're in the area during the weekend. Admission costs €10. children are free

A Beautiful Place to Curl Up...

Some beautiful bedclothes from Monsoon Home...

I love the rich fabrics of Monsoon's bedclothes, they obviously use the same inspirations when designing their handbags. More from Monsoon tomorrow!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Victorian Salvage

I noticed looking at MTeriors that I have only one entry in the bathroom tab! Luckily this co-incided nicely with some great bathroom items that I recently came across.

The Victorian Salvage and Joinery Company reclaim beautiful pieces where they can see potential and painstakingly prepare them for re-use. They also specialise in handcrafted furniture from seventeenth century to contemporary designs.

Have a look on the website to see the full range of products. Here are a few of the bathroom items that caught my eye...

This Old Original French Toilet brings a whole new meaning to the word throne!

They have lots of great items, not just for the bathroom but kitchen items, flooring or these fitted wardrobes which I love!

The Victorian Salvage Company are located on South Gloucester St. Dublin 2, or you can visit the website here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


One of my favourite restaurants when I lived in Brussels was a place called Hemisphere which served world cuisine, mostly Moroccan, Indian, Tunisian, Asian. As a vegetarian it's not always easy to find somewhere to eat that has a lot of choice for us herbivores (... do I have to eat dried-up pasta again??) so over time the food has taken a back seat when it comes to my enjoyment of a night out. Having a meal out is still my favourite thing to do, but the ambience of a restaurant has become more important to me when choosing a restaurant.

The reason that I liked Hemisphere is because not only did it have a very extensive veggie menu, but the decoration is fantastic. I've actually gone there on my own a couple of times, had a nice meal with a glass of wine and just looked around me at the proprietor's collection of this that and the other thing from all over the world.

One of the great things about this restaurant though, is that they serve most of their food in tagines.

A tagine (or tajine) is a cooking or serving pot that has found its origins in Morocco. There are two types - the cooking one is (understandably) made of tougher material and works in a similar way to a pressure cooker or slow cooker. The serving one is more decorative but can't withstand high temperatures.

You can really serve anything you like in a tagine but the usual recipe of a tagine (the meal has the same name as the dish) is like a stew of meat, fish or poultry simmered with a mix of veg and spices - usually served with bread or cous cous.

I'm on a recent quest to acquire a couple of these serving tagines, I then plan to round up a couple of people, serve them dinner in the tagine and force them to ooh and ahh over my new gadget!

Here are a few nice ones I've seen on

The ones I've shown cost in or around $40. post and packing is extra. I've a vague memory of seeing these in TK Maxx lately, where I'm sure you'd get them cheaper. I'll let you know if I track one down...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Somethings from the Weekend

Here's a selection of a few things I stumbled across during the weekend:

These cushions from Zara Turner Gifts & Interiors would be a great way to dress up a dull dark couch.


This Millie Vase is €21.95 from Yesterdays

These picture frames from Carraig Donn range from €29.95 - €59.95. I love the aged silver look of them (at least they look silver from the website...) these would look good if you have a room with an Indian or Eastern theme (lots of colourful silk, old lanterns and silver trinket boxes).

These can pants (!) are such a clever idea! As a cold-blooded person I love these! $6. from Etsy.

This dynamite door stopper is £26.95 from Not on the High Street.

Friday, June 15, 2007

New Feature

Just in case you didn't notice I've added a new feature to the left bar on the blog, as soon as each month ends, I'm going to pick my favourite post and put a link to it on the left, unfortunately the thing that allows me to put pictures on the left bar isn't working, but bear with me! Check out May's top post - Interiors in the City!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Artists With a Difference!

Would you be surprised if I told you that the artists who created the paintings above didn't paint them with their hands? In fact, would you be surprised if I told you that the artists didn't even have hands!

The pictures above are the result of an initiative in Asia who's goal is the protection and preservation of elephants. The paintings above were in fact created by elephants who have been taught how to paint!

Elephants are my favourite animal, I think I fell in love with them years ago when I found out that they are the only animal (apart from humans) that will cry from sadness or pain! That's why I was so excited about this project The Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project.

30% of the profits from the paintings goes directly to the elephant's manhout (owner) or the camp where the elephant resides, with the condition that the money is used to provide the elephants with additional food, proper veterinary care, and improved shelter. The remainder of the profits goes towards other initiatives set out in the Mission Statement.

Here is some info. on a few of the artists and an sample of their work!

Lucky was found orphaned, wandering the bush near Mornambrae, Cambodia. She was brought to the Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center near Phnom Penh in 1999.

Lucky began painting in 2003. From the beginning Lucky demonstrated great artistic talent. Lucky's strokes are loose and gestural. She often creates circular patterns combined with striking beats of the brush on the canvas. Once she starts on a painting it is hard to stop her. If she ever happens to drop the brush while she is working, she immediately picks it back up and finishes the work with a smile and a twinkle in her eye. She would also hand over a brush after finishing with a colour and immediately grab the next brush so as to begin painting again with a different colour. Lucky is extremely enthusiastic about painting and always has a smile on her face.

Wanpen was born at the Maesa Elaphant Camp in 1998 to coe Noy and bull Sidor. Wanpen means "full moon night" in Thai as she was born on a full moon. She began painting in 2000 along with the other elephants from the Maesa camp.

It was one fateful day a few years ago now that a traditional Chinese artise by the name of Chaowalit began teaching Wanpen and another elephant, Gongkam, how to paint in a realistic Chinese style. In the six months since their introduction, Chaowalit has been working closely with Wanpen and her Manhout, Khun Chien. With much patience and perseverance, Wanpen was soon painting beautiful landscapes, trees and flowers. The works are truly astounding. Wanpen has amazing control of the brush and will carefully create a variety of brushstrokes upon the canvas and keeps her eyes fixed in front of her the entire time, whether she is making the downward stroke of a tree trunk or the single dot of a flower bud. The expression in her face reveals a deep wisdom despite her young age. We are looking forward to the unimaginable possibilities that the future may hold for Wanpen.

The paintings start around $350. Ok I can't afford that right now but I would love to own one some day, what a talking point it would be in your home! They have a calendar for $14. which will do me for the time being!

Visit the website to learn more about the project.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My New Breadboard

Here's my new breadboard from Avon! It's got a removeable crumb catcher, a little creamic bowl for butter or oil, and an integrated bread knife. €12. from Avon. (My sister is an Avon lady!)

Friday, June 8, 2007

100th Post! Yeah Me!

For the last 10 posts or so I've been racking my brains trying to decide what to do for my 100th post. According to The Humble Housewife there are traditions in place and it is customary to write 100 things about yourself, I don't think I would be able to think of 100 interesting things about me, and I don't think anyone would be interested in reading them! So as a compromise here's me in 10...

1. I lived in Belgium for two years. When I was 19 (for a year) and again when I was 22 (for another year!)

2. I have one nephew, Fionn who is almost 6 months old and is the apple of my eye!

3. I'm leaving fair green Ireland for the warmer pastures of Australia (with stop overs in Japan & China along the way) this September for a 6 month working holiday (alhough I haven't figured out the working part yet...)

4. I drive a '91 starlet, which I never want to part with. It's my 1st car, a Christmas present from my better half on our second Christmas together. I vow that whenever it stops going I plan to plant flowers in the engine and make it the centrepiece of my garden!

5. I'm vegetarian for the past few years, the only thing I really miss is mince but since I've discovered Quorn my life is complete again!

6. I spent time in prison in the Philippines when I was 21, don't worry, not as an inmate - I was working with prisoners!

7. I hate cucumber, I mean really really hate it, as in - if it's in a sandwich and I take it out I still can't eat the sandwich because of the lingering taste!

8. My confirmation name is Lucia

9. I have an Arts Degree in Media & History which I know I'll never use but will never regret as it took me to Belgium

10. I have 6 piercings and a tatoo but I'm not in the slightest bit punkish or rebellious! Honest!

And on a final note, here's me!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

My Perfect Working Space

Anna from Absolutely Beautiful Things featured this image on her blog during the week and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since! This is my perfect working space, it's the perfect balance between organised and busy. I plan on recreating this exactly for myself some day!

Petchie's Adventures

My good friend Petra has just recently started up a blog of her own. Petra has lived in more countries than anyone I know and travels more than anyone I know so, as a result has plenty of stories to tell! Petchie's Adventures is a wonderful report from Petra on recent travels, life in Brussels (where we met and where Petra still lives, for the time being anyway!).

The beautiful banner on Petchie's Adventures is from a recent trip Petra made to Jordan, to the city that bears her name, the city of Petra! Very appropriate!

I've put the link on my site so take a look!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Limerick Now

All of the other Limerick bloggers have done a post on this so I thought I'd better jump on the bandwagon!

Limerick Now is a new glossy mag dedicated to all things Limerick! I picked up my copy yesterday and had a quick look through it last night. It's basically a lifestyle magazine but focuses on whats available and whats happening in Limerick. The topics covered include health, beauty & fashion, food & drink and best of all: interiors!

The interiors feature this month tells you how to decorate your home in French Provence style. Its a nice article with some inspirational pictures, it gives tips on how to achieve the look such as:

  • Don't try to match the elements in your room. Furniture and accessories should look old and used, but not shabby.
  • Use large vintage mirrors, architectural elements (columns, corbels), garden statuary, black wireware, clocks, hat boxes, vintage candelabra, flowers, plants, china and delicate porcelain figurines to accessorize a Provence room.

The Interiors section in Limerick Now also has a "Colour Page", I'm guessing the idea is that they choose a colour each month and show you a collection of items in that colour that are available in Limerick. This month's colour is green, which happens to be my favourite colour! It features some lovely items from Meadows & Byrne, Debenhams and Next.

I think Limerick Now was well worth the €3.50 and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next edition has to offer!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Another Mirror...

Hmmm... Why does this always happen? I spend ages looking for some item that seems impossible to find and when I actually purchase I start seeing them everywhere!

Found this mirror on the Marks & Spencer website over the weekend and can't decide if I prefer this one or my recent ebay purchase...?

Although at £39.99 (€58. ish) its almost double the price of my ebay one so I guess that's the decision made!

Friday, June 1, 2007

French Shabby Chic

Here's my latest e-buy! I won this on eBay yesterday. I've been looking for a white or off-white French Shabby Chic style mirror for a while now but any one that I liked was about 5 times what I could afford so you can imagine my delight when I found this one on eBay last night for a grand total of €32. including postage!

Here were a couple of others that I liked...