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Words

A Norn irish gift guide

December 3, 2016

Put simply, here is my super special Northern Irish gift guide.

It is quite literally full to the brim with makers, locations, drinks, interiors and more to help you decide what gifts to buy this Christmas.

I have not been endorsed to do any of this by anyone, I am just an artist who is passionate about and happy to share the love and to support local. Continue Reading…

Words

A sustainable business – my strive for better

November 23, 2016

Image credit Gather and Tides

I’m all for clearing out junk in the home. So much so I even made a post about minimalism here.

My husband views my ‘tendency’ for “gutting out” as a bit of an illness. This urge to clear out normally raises it’s ugly head on a weekend.

You know the kind- all is well and quiet in the world of family time, there are no work emails to distract the mind, a general state of untidiness has already descended the minute the lads come in from school and dump their School bags on the Friday.

So, with all of this in front of my very eyes, I take a head staggers and start to trail everything out. Literally.

“You have to crack an egg to make an omelette” my good friend once said.

Nothing will do except a good clear out from top to bottom of a drawer, a medicine cabinet,  the baby’s room, my shoe boxes, even the pots and pans can take a bashing.

Feeling overwhelmed by “stuff” is something I struggle with. It sits better with me knowing that someone somewhere else can use what I no longer will.

Looking around my house and feeling overwhelmed often is perhaps not the best trait for someone who is in the business of selling prints which in themselves can be viewed as “stuff”.

Perhaps it is to the detriment of my yearly income that I don’t like to harp on about sales over and over again, but if you meet me for more than five minutes you will learn that my driving force behind these long hours, juggling three kids (one aged six months) and keeping a large number of people happy on social media, e mail and face to face, is not to line my pockets. Continue Reading…

Words

“Seeing” dead people.

September 28, 2016

I spoke to my husband about how I *really* wanted to use this title even though it has perfect associations with the weird horror film ‘The sixth sense’ where a wee lad actually sees dead people.

It goes something like this…

“How often do you see them?
Cole Sear: “All the time. They’re everywhere. ”

What a skill set, eh?

Or like Mel Gibson in the movie ‘What women want’ where he hears what women think ALL THE TIME.  Sure you’d make a fortune.

I digress.

My point being that with a title like “Seeing dead people” you’d be forgiven for thinking I had paranormal abilities.

But I do not.

If you’re looking for ouija boards (a guy I fancied at the holiday camp site when I was 10 said he tried ouija board. Said he and his sister lifted off the floor. He also told me that he owned his own motorbike and had snogged twenty girls that Summer, so it’s fair to say he might be a liar), karma instincts and/or a deep rooted sense of ghosts you will, sadly, not find that here.

I am a complete scaredy cat if truth be told.

I grew up in the countryside and when I locked my pony’s “stable” (which was the old cattle pen within a big shed) I would sprint the one hundred metres across the yard to make sure I was clear of the dark, the leprechaun my uncle told me resided behind the big shed, or any kind of “bad men”.

This post is more about “seeing” my deceased Dad in the bodies and brains of my three children, my brother, and I guess, myself. Continue Reading…

Words

A photo walk how to |Insta meet Belfast

September 13, 2016

When we think of a photo walk there can be an association with senior citizens in hiking shoes, binoculars, an old tripod and maybe some walking sticks. 

Or, at times I imagine my husband with his geography classes on a field trip in Newcastle county down and maybe a wee stick that has a rotating circle on the end that detects every metre you walk!

But that is not what a photo walk is.

Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset

A photo walk is unique to the group who attend, it is an opportunity to meet like minded people, spot some cool areas or objects, point your camera at them, edit in camera or at home, then talk about and share what you have after the event.

Mel and I are doing just that in Belfast on Saturday as part of World insta meet day. Details in the image above. Continue Reading…

Words

The privilege of motherhood | A celebration.

September 2, 2016

I read blogposts about motherhood these days and it is often about the struggles and strife of trying to parent young children.

I am as guilty as anyone.  You can see my gripes here and here. Sometimes venting helps with the support network we feel as Mums finding our way in this.

But what about if we celebrate motherhood, the laughs, the raves, the fun and the joy that these mini Mum and Dads bring us?

What about looking at the best parts instead of the worst or even still, what is yet to come in our lives once we get through the sleepless nights or the teenage years. Continue Reading…

Words

Exam results do not define you.

August 25, 2016

Eyebrows on fleek in my High School days (middle pic).

As a child I was aware that School was to be respected, attended and adhered to. I enjoyed my time in the classroom.

But being pushed in one direction or the other regarding education was not in my Mum’s nature.

Maybe she had a peace that things would work out for me and my brother. Or maybe it was because she, like me,placed more importance on the need to try one’s best and to embrace the School environment as a whole, rather than push specific results.

I “failed” my eleven plus at the age of 11 and went to a High school instead of a Grammar school. Continue Reading…

Words

My postpartum body | Part 1

July 15, 2016

I have such a clatter of emotions surrounding this post.

Embarrassment that people will see these dire photos of me. Complete disgust at myself for believing that I am in any way out of shape to begin with.  Then I move swiftly to feeling empowered that my body has housed three human beings and looks the way it does after only ten weeks since popping out the last one. And finally (you still here?) I question continually why am I putting this sh** out into the world in the first place?

I have struggled girls.

Continue Reading…

Words

The Father’s day favourites | Prints

June 13, 2016

The Aslan special edition print is available HERE and you can personalise it with a quote from Narnia.

I am not keen on promoting my products to the heavens when the hallmark holidays like Mother’s day and Valentines day come up on the calendar.

But I often get asked about which of my prints are the most popular for men.

So below I have compiled a list to take the thinking out of it for you.

My art is made with love in my studio in Belfast. Then they are transformed into prints using Belfast company Media Design Print.

Therefore my work is 100% Belfast bred.

Simply click the link above each print and it will take you straight to the product. Continue Reading…

Words

A birth story. Without the gory details.

May 18, 2016

I don’t think I know what a birth story is supposed to sound/look like

but I do know that since my second born in 2011 the internet has opened up a world of birth stories available at the touch of a button. It’s kind of the way the world works these days, right? Albeit a little unnerving.

I imagine if I asked my Mum about her birth story it wouldn’t have photos and bullet point explanations of her contractions.

However, it’s still important and I do know what happened at my birth  which is cool and something I like to know.

You can rest assured this won’t be the gory, bloody or even vernix covered story you may have seen in the past.

I think when you are pregnant with your first it seems other Mums want to share their story – how many hours she was in labour, the graphic details, the epidural wearing off too soon and the dreadful midwives they felt at the mercy of.

I don’t intend to do this. The reason I am putting Abraham’s birth story out there is for the positive side. Even if I thought this was something I would never share.

Don’t get me wrong- you know I love a good moan on the internet especially where parenthood is concerned- like here about my hyperemesis and my struggle with pregnancy and here about my exhaustion.

So it is not that I like to keep this little space of mine all flowery and fluffy with only the hippy dippy good stories.

It’s more that I had a good experience and you can too. Especially if you are thinking about a natural birth.

 

I am not entirely sure how this birth story should start.

Here goes

Continue Reading…