Nov 30, 2010

Lola Dee Pom Poms


I was looking for a winter hat with a pom pom. That's not true—I was actually looking for a winter hat with three pom poms, two of them of the gigantic variety to knock sense into me with every bouncy step. Anyway, I didn't find my winter hat—or sense—yet, but I did find Cork-based Lola Dee, maker of charming and fanciful pom pom headbands.


I'm thinking a pom pom headband would make for festive, and easy, party dressing this Holiday season; I mean, who's going to notice the rest of your outfit when you make such a statement on your head? I'm not entirely sure I wouldn't look ridiculous with a giant purple pom pom growing out of the side of my head, but then, I'm also not entirely sure I take enough fashion risks these days. A few giant pom-pom-knocks to the head and I won't care either way!

LolaDee.etsy.com
LolaDee.com

Nov 26, 2010

Green Friday!

Now that I have the Thanksgiving gobble-gobble-wibble-wobble over with, I can heartily fling myself headfirst into Holiday shopping. I usually fling myself arseways, but this year I'm trying to head-off shopping problems by reminding myself regularly that 'tis not the season to shop for me. 'Tis the season to shop Irish and to help out Irish makers and shakers, so with that in mind I'm shopping up Irish gifts for friends and family/me. Here are a few lovelies that are currently triggering my annual one-for-me-none-for-you shopping reflex:

 Silk purses by Bag Noir
  Mohair and silk scarves by Ruby Star Knits
Sweet little handfelted bears from Ememem
Sheepskin stool by James Carroll; Linen pillows by Kaftansarafan
Journey Through the Stars ring by Mercury Orchid
Prehnite necklace by Abigail Percy; Seaglass and silver necklace by Irish Sea Glass
Cozy woolen wrist warmers from Pooka Designs
Pretty tea bowls by Heart of Ireland
 
Thanks in advance to An Post and the United States Postal Service for taking the fall for me (again) this year; "lost in the post" sounds a lot better than "kept it for myself."

Nov 23, 2010

Codes: Starry Eyed


Codes - Starry Eyed from Codes on Vimeo.


Loving this new single from Codes' debut album Trees Dream in Algebra. Codes are an alternative/electronic quartet from Dublin with Keane-Muse-Coldplay-like soaring vocals, stadium-worthy choruses, and infectious hooks. Their album was released last year in Ireland to rave reviews, and with a summer of festival appearances, gigs, and starry-eyed fans/critics behind them, they're all set to take off. Hoping it won't be too long before they land on this side of the Atlantic.

Stalk them on Facebook
Codes are not yet available on US iTunes, but you can find Trees Dream in Algebra in their Big Cartel store or download this single from CDBaby.ie.

Nov 22, 2010

Keep Going!



Love/want/need/must have this "Keep Going Sure It's Grand" print by Fergus O'Neill. It speaks to how I feel about, well—everything! Another (ahem, less formal) version says "F@*k It Sure It's Grand."


Nov 19, 2010

This weekend ...

Reading

Aidan Higgins' autobiography, A Bestiary. It was originally published in Ireland and the UK as three separate volumes—Donkey's Years, Dog Days, and The Whole Hog—and captures this highly respected writer's life growing up in Kildare. I've actually had this book for a while and just never felt I had a window wide enough to commit to it, but today I picked it up (to press leaves in it) and I'm committed; it might be a while before I put it down again. I was in love seven lines in ...
"My first conscious memory is of our village being flooded, which would have been 1933 when I was but six years old. Our nanny, Nurse O'Reilly—a longshanked rawboned bucktoothed Cavanwoman of indeterminate age who took no nonsense from anybody but her superiors, who knew her place—would have been unable to push the pram much beyond the Abbey on the outskirts of Cellbridge, through the water lapping against the wall of Flynn's bicycle shop and flooding Darlington's forge."~Aidan Higgins (Donkey's Years)
Also reading

"Was it for this?" and editorial in Friday's Irish Times about the shame of accepting a bailout from the European Bank. 
"The true ignominy of our current situation is not that our sovereignty has been taken away from us, it is that we ourselves have squandered it."
Scheming
"Ireland" is the first word I've been hearing on the radio every morning of late, and the last word at night, and if there's no such thing as bad publicity, I'm hoping that the constant repetition of Ireland, Ireland, Ireland will drive up tourism next year. If I worked for Bord Failte (hey, call me Bord Failte!) I'd offer less of a Bored Failte and hop on all this publicity to create a clever new ad campaign. Maybe I'll send them a few ideas ...

Ordering

Nollaig Shona (Merry Christmas) wrapping paper from Belfast-based Placed design. Love the clean, uncheesy design, and love the idea of wrapping friends' gifts in Irish. $14 for 5 sheets

Baking
from The Cottage Log
 
Perhaps it's the anticipation of all the rich foods I'll be piling onto my plate/waistline next week, but I'm suddenly hungering for simple brown bread, like Nana makes it. Thinking to try out an Irish Brown Bread recipe found over at The Cottage Log (via Ill Seen Ill Said). I miss brown bread and butter and know already there's no way my two hands can make anything to rival my grandmother's, but I can't be at her table often enough for my appetite, so it's time I tossed some flour with some buttermilk.

Have a great weekend!

Nov 16, 2010

The Calvinists

 
Photos by Kait Hussman

When Matt Gross got Lost in Ireland a few weeks ago for his "Getting Lost" series for the New York Times, he also found a new Bantry rock and country band called the Calvinists.
"They were awesome: straight-up rock with a country accent, courtesy of the banjoist Taidhg Burke and ... thanks to Noel Maguire’s effortless voice…the whole room hummed with enthusiasm and pride. I was part of something. Maybe this was a moment that, years from now, I’d remember as a big one." ~Matt Gross
The Calvinists found themselves thrust into the limelight, and they are now eager and excited to harness all that attention and earn/validate such praise, premature as it was. See, these four lads from Bantry—Taidhg Burke, Frank Wieler, Noel Maguire and Daragh Coakley—have been banging away at the happy art of music-making but they haven't performed outside of Cork yet, and they haven't actually recorded anything either! Well, it seems Matt Gross has lit a fire under their arses and they are now banging away in a studio, hoping to release their debut album early next year. Can't wait! In the meantime, The Calvinists have been kind/smart enough to make their lead single Anchor available for free download on their site.

If you'd like a visual, check out this YouTube video:




TheCalvinists.com
Stalk them on Facebook

Nov 12, 2010

Eilis Boyle's 10th collection

Drumroll please ...
(cough, cough, ahem)
Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, readers and skimmers, please join me in celebrating the debut of Eilis Boyle's incredibly gorgeous tenth collection: 
(whistles, cheers, rowdy applause!)


 
10th collection from Eilis Boyle on Vimeo.


Such a breath of fresh, free, floaty, fanciful air!
(vigorous nods of agreement, sighs, wistful applause)

See more of Eilis Boyle's beautiful designs here
E. Boyle's blog: SilentStoryteller

Nov 11, 2010

Mary Callan Knitwear

It's getting cold in New York. It's getting cold and I'm getting old. Old New Yorkers (a.k.a. Snowbirds) usually flock to Florida for the Winter, but I'd prefer to hang around, so I'm looking for sneaky ways to add warmth to my wardrobe. See, New Yorkers are hardy but also hard on anyone who dresses all-out-winter when it's still autumn (it's kind of like an American wearing wader-wellies for a soft Irish rain). Thinking I need a few pieces from Marry Callan's Knitwear collection; her handmade chain necklaces with interlinking crochet circles are woolly and warm but stylish, too.
 
Mary Callan graduated from Fashion Knitwear at Central Saint Martins, London, and then worked with Chloe in Paris, John Rocha and Lainey Keogh in Dublin, and at Knit One in Brighton. She now works from her studio at the foot of the Mourne mountains in County Down (doesn't that sound dreamy?), where she creates modern pieces inspired by vintage knitwear. I love the chunky Aran-wool chain necklaces as an alternate (ahem, underlayer) to a  plain scarf, and love even more that it's the kind of piece you don't have to take off indoors because it works as a necklace, too. If you are warmer/younger than I, you might like Callan's  less bulky crochet necklaces; they're made with hand-dyed wool and fashioned to sit flat against your chest. Comfy cozy and cute gifts.

Now, I just need some woolly knickers to match ...

MaryCallanKnitwear.etsy.com

Nov 10, 2010

Hey!

This is me not running the NYC marathon this past weekend. I would have run it—especially because it runs right outside my house so I could stop for a tea-and-pee break—but I was knackered from running around the city the past few weeks. Back now, and done sweating for a while. Happy Wednesday!