end of an era? p’shaw!*

August 17, 2011

(*meant to be phonetic rendering of a scoff, but probably more reminiscent of a 70s free nine piece jazz band from Metz)

At the end of this month (Saturday 27th), I will be leaving DesignerMart at Cow’s Lane after three and a half years. Considering how much DesignerMart has been a part of my life since 2008, it would be a little odd not to acknowledge it here.

It is a wrench leaving, primarily for the amazing friends I have made during my time there. There is a small list of things I won’t miss:

– the fickleness of the weather gods (I swear, at times you’d think Cow’s Lane had its own weather system unrelated to anywhere else in Dublin let alone Dame St up at the top);

– those early starts on a Saturday morning (when I am *delicate pause* not at my finest)

But those things are far outweighed by the amazing friendship and cameraderie I found at Cow’s Lane. I have worked with a rare bunch of people there; I have waved some of them off with a lump in my throat. And now, it’s me.

I am currently working on some crafty ventures that you’ll be seeing more of in the coming months- there’ll be plenty of hints and previews on this very blog. After years of outdoor markets and craft fairs, I am now working on something a little different, and I love the challenge.

To all my wonderful customers at Cow’s Lane over the years, I hope you enjoy my wee treasures as much as I enjoyed making them. Thank you for all your kind comments, your great stories and your custom. It won’t be long before you’ll see even more WaterMemory wares.

To all of you reading (and a special hello to FB friends and Twitterites!), thanks for your great support, your kind words and your encouragement. Onward and upward, mar a deirtear!

The market returns tomorrow, so today has been a blur of findings, muffled curses (why oh why are crimps so liable to roll everywhere, damnit?) and lists. Oh my, the lists. In the flurry to get everything ready in time, I have realised that some of my working habits are here to stay.

– I need everything piled around me. I start off with a bare, pristine work surface, and it quickly becomes piled with strands of beads, pins, findings, buttons, bad sketches on the backs of envelopes. I have tried to fight it, loving the austere work spaces and processes of other artists, but it ain’t gonna happen.

– If I work with silence, music or a film, I tend to work differently. I today discovered Stereomood and to my delight, they have a mix entitled “Let’s Knit”! I’m tempted to put up a few mixes of my own. Music or silence is ideal for my more involved work- if I am doing routine piecework, then it’s box set time.

– I really, really like “One Nation Under A Groove”, and nearly did myself an injury jigging about the kitchen to it early. Note: hot, bubbling liquid and the shaking of one’s th√≥in do not mix.

– I may knit or crochet on the couch, but for needlework, beading or papercrafts I absolutely must be at a table. Weird.

Fingers crossed that the weather is with us tomorrow. We have endured some pretty tough conditions, but it would be lovely to have an easier start to the year this time.

P.S. Isn’t Mastercrafts so absorbing? Watching the episode on weaving at the moment.

Temple Bar Cultural Trust has just released its events guide for 2010, and you can grab a copy of it here (.pdf). As ye can see, it’s a mix of the old favourite one-off events like the Handel festival and Chocolate Festival, continuing markets (DesignerMart on Cow’s Lane, the food market at Meeting House Square and the book market at Temple Bar Square) and partnered events like the Bealtaine Festival with the No Grants Gallery.

Like I said over on Twitter, it’s great to be part of the change that has taken place in Temple Bar. TB has had such a negative reputation- think Fall of Rome only with more sausage sandwiches and crushed beer cans, if you believe some reports- and it’s great to see that people are noticing its continuing rehabilitation. I see great places like the Gutter Bookshop opening up, or events like ChocFest coming back year after year, and it gives me hope. Our customers at Cow’s Lane are not shy to let us know how happy they are with the change, either.

Come join us! DesignerMart is returning the weekend before St Patrick’s Day and as ever, we would love to see you there. You can expect beautiful stuff, a place to see and be seen, and from yours truly, some free gratis and for nothing Jaffa Cakes. (You see if I don’t.)

the countdown begins

February 15, 2010

Saturday just gone marked four weeks to the DesignerMart relaunch and I spent much of the weekend working on new pieces. I am in a knitting groove of late, and have a good few bags ready for felting (or more properly, fulling, but that word is usually followed by blank looks and bad puns).

This year, I’ve decided to add new sizes. Much and all as I love and adore my tiny purses and big ol’ totes, sometimes you need an inbetweener- the bag that will hold your phone and your keys and that cute wobbly headed bat* who acts out soliloquies from Hamlet (what? That’s just me?). Ahem. So this year, I’ve added bags that will do just that, while looking fabulous.

Apart from that, it’s all about the gemstones this week. I’ve got tiger’s eye on the brain and I’m thinking tiger’s eye coins with a lot of tiny seed beads.. a sort of web effect. Oh heck, yes.

Expect a sneak preview of all these items soon- I feel a Roger-esque fashion montage coming on!

*Minky. Likes: fruit sweets, long flaps along the beach and Ed Wood films. Dislikes: asparagus and morning appointments. Call him, ladies!

Before this year finally leaves us, a word in your shell-likes ūüôā

For those of you who stopped by Cow’s Lane, who gave your comments and feedback, who oohed and aahed over the wares, who gave me great ideas, who bought pieces throughout the year..

This could have been an impossible year, only for you. For your support and all else, thank you.

I wish you the happiest of happy whatever-ye-are-having-yourselves and a joyful 2010. Our final trading days in 2009 are Friday 18th December and Saturday 19th December, between 10am and 5pm. See you back on the Lane come March, and over here in the interim.

We’re on Twitter!

November 24, 2009

That’s right- yet more Cow’s Lane loveliness, but online!

Cows Lane Crafters

Go forth and follow, my fiends!

can’t hardly wait!

October 13, 2009

The Temple Bar Chocolate Festival is back! You’ll have to excuse me a minute…


It’s on between Friday 31st October and Sunday 1st November in various venues around Temple Bar. There’s a- oh man, I nearly said feast, what is it with me and the puns?- an absolutely amazing array of events scheduled, including beauty treatments involving chocolate. I don’t know about you, but that’s something I can get behind ;).

There are loads of tastings, workshops, talks and exhibits planned, and the folks of DesignerMart (including me) will be exhibiting wares inspired by chocolate between 3pm and 4pm on Saturday at Cow’s Lane. We will also be in situ at Meeting House Square between 10:30am and 4:30pm- do come and join us for a bit!

More details here, and a programme of events here (pdf).

Another moment of epic! fame! over TBCT way on buying local, small-scale and independent and what it means to your local starving artist. This is a subject dear to my heart and has been from early on, considering that growing up, we did (and still do) most of our food shopping in a place currently being run by the sixth generation of the family. More on¬†‘buying different’¬†in a future post.

The classes went well for us all- a learning experience all round. I was bowled over by the creativity and good humour of my charges (and thankful for their patience, as they got to grip with the feeling that one needs about 38 fingers for crochet when starting off!), and have been completely inspired by the experience. Result!

My DesignerMart colleagues are full of inspiration and good ideas- Deirdre Griffin is making the most beautiful stud earrings with her fused glass, Fifi Le Rue has gorgeous new silky shoulder bags.. and needless to say, I’ve ordered half a dozen of each. On a completely unrelated note, is anybody interested in 1/4 of an absolutely spotless liver? Just asking. No? I guess I’ll try eBay again..

fun & frolics!

July 2, 2009

DesignerMart gets crafty! Myself and a few other DesignerMart folk will be teaching classes on Saturday, 25th July during market hours. The classes include knitting, applique, crochet, jewellery-making and bead-making, and the prices listed include the cost of the kits.

More details here. Would-be crafters, come on down!

a tiny change..

June 29, 2009

A few weeks back, I introduced a new range of earrings at Cow’s Lane. Nothing unusual about that, apart from the price- these earrings, sterling silver & all, go for ‚ā¨5/ pair. (Gratuitous plug time: this range, the ‘Perfect’ range, is on sale every Saturday at my stall at DesignerMart at Cow’s Lane, and the earrings are so lovely, they’ll even make the tea*.)

(* Note: probably not.)

One of the first pieces of advice that sellers of handmade wares offer is not to underprice your goods. The issue of pricing- how to price, how much to charge etc etc- can be a touchy one. (Just take a look at the Etsy forums!)

I don’t feel that they’re underpriced.

I introduced these earrings for very specific reasons. Firstly, I wanted to offer people something a little different, where I can compete with¬†(and often beat) prices in high-street shops but offer them something that is a lot higher in quality. I’m also aware (as¬†everyone else is) that the aul’ funds aren’t the best for many of us right now, so I wanted to offer something that was a little more in reach for a splurge.

The reception has been absolutely brilliant. I’ve been careful to use a wide¬†range of colours and materials- ceramic, glass and metal- and people have been very complimentary. (Definitely need to use¬†more pink though- this Pink Allergy is beyond a joke.)

Think of it this way- a pair of earrings, in your favourite colour, for ‚ā¨5, and they won’t turn green in your ears/ aggravate any nickel allergies/ fall apart after a couple of wears. So, not only does the customer benefit, but I get to see people being pleasantly surprised at the price, as well as falling in love with some of my work. Result!