Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

Irish Recycled Products

Monday, January 30th, 2012

I am delighted to introduced you to Irish Recycled Products this company is a gem!

They are using mixed plastic waste to manufacture their products which they are 100% recycled and 100% recyclable. Their products are manufactured from waste HPDE, the plastic used normally to make milk and juice bottles. This plastic apparently never biodegrades, which makes it very bad for landfill disposal and very good for outdoor furniture!

In their web site they claim that their products will outlast their timber alternatives by several generations and that they require low maintenance! The best of all is that their products look very cool!

I think you should check them out,  remember that little things like this can help to protect our environment!

Google SketchUp

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Google SketchUp is a free software that you can download here . It is a very powerful tool, easy to use an fun! with this software you can design anything in 3D  with a easy-to-use interface and a wide range of Help features.

The best of all is that you do not need to be an engineer to use it! it is for everybody use and if you ever get stuck there are thousands of tutorials over the web to help you out!

I mostly use it to work in my house design. I think that when you are designing your own house everything looks very differently on the paper than on 3D. Your architect can give you wonderful plans and he/she has the ability to see how the building will look in reality. However, somebody that does not work in that field might find it difficult to imagine what your house might look like in reality. I find this software very useful to get that “feel” of how your house is going to look like. You can walk into your design and feel how airy the rooms are or even how much light they are going to get!

There are menu options that allow you to orbit over your design, walk in, zoom in and out easily and so on! one of my favourite tools is the measuring tape that lets you to measure your distances! my second favourite has to be to be able to move objects in 3 dimensions although this takes a bit of practice to get it right.

Once you have designed your rooms you can download from the internet objects for your rooms from windows to bathroom suites or furniture! you can even find IKEA furniture! I find this extremely useful because you might have furniture that you do not know how it would fit in your bedroom. So  you can download this furniture and try it in your room, which will give you a fair idea on how the room is going to look.

This software is not only good to design houses you can even use it to see how new furniture would look in your new room or how new kitchen units would fit in your kitchen!

I strongly recommend using it!

Here is a sneak pick of what you can do:




Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

We made little bags to put red rose petals. We gave the bags to each guest, so they could shower us with them after the ceremony. The bags were made of blue and cream organza. Each bag had a little tag with our name and the wedding date. At the top of the bag there were two ribbons coming out that were used to seal the bag. These strings had a shell sawn into them.



Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Heasprung is a London-based company founded by Hemal Patel that is specialising in the design and manufacture of contemporary home accessories. Their mission is “to make good design more visible and accessible to the masses”.

I really like all their designs, they are so fresh, out of the ordinary and colourful! also is worth to check out their seconds section.



Armchair/Couch Pockets

Monday, January 16th, 2012

We are at the moment living in rented accommodation and we are provided with all the furniture. Our coffee table is not one of those with a lower shelf for magazines, and for space for reading/writing material. So we often had pens, paper, magazines, books…. around the place and our living room looked messy. I decided to do with fabric some pockets to hang from one of the armchairs in the living room for space for all these things. One pocket is large for magazines, and books. Another pocket is for papers, another for pencils and pens, another for things like usb keys and headphones, and another for various things like post its and scarp paper.

It was very easy to do, I bought

100% cotton fabric from IKEA and then I measured the length based on the length of my armchair. I wanted to be able to put heavy things in the pockets such as books and magazines so I made sure that the fabric was long enough to go from the floor up to the arm of the armchair and under the seat cushion. This length ensures that even if there are heavy things in the pockets the weight will be held.

It was very simple and you can customise your pockets according to the things you want to put in them!

Buying lights

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Today I would like to talk about a brilliant web site that I have found

In this website you can buy very nice designer lights but also lights that are not so expensive and that are as equally nice!

I think that the web site layout is very good. There are different sections by different types of lights (indoors, outdoors), by where you want to place the lights or even by colour!

The feature that I like the most is the fact that once you choose a light that you like and you want to find more information on that light, the website provides you with a full specs for the light. This means it gives you details on: manufacture, designer, material, measurements, weight, CABLE LENGTH, Type of bulbs, SPARE PARTS, and the one I love the most HOW ENERGY EFFICIENT is the light!!!!

I love this because it might help you decide on buying it or not!

This web site has also a full section on LEDs lights! and please do not be so reluctant on buying them. LEDs technology has changed so much in the last years. I know that LED is short for ” Looks Extremely Dim” but  this is the name they were given in the mid-1920s when they were invented! Now new research has shown that you can even get a whopping 300 lumens from one LED. So embrace the future and also help our planet!



Ceremony Booklet

Monday, January 9th, 2012

We wanted everybody at the ceremony to be able to follow what was happening. This meant we needed a ceremony booklet in both languages. At the same time, I did not want people to be reading everything so that they were not paying attention to the ceremony itself. So we did a very simple booklet. The first page had our first names and the date of the wedding. The second page had in Catalan all the titles (only the titles) from each section at the ceremony: entrance of the groom, entrance of the bride, welcome words… and then the names of the songs that they were played. After this whole section in Catalan we wrote the same entire thing in English.

During the ceremony we had readings in both languages. Since guests from one side would not be able to understand the readings in English and vice versa we wrote the translation of the whole reading in the Catalan part of the booklet. For example the English reading was translated to Catalan and was featured in the Catalan section. The Catalan reading was translated in to English and featured in the English version.

The making of the booklets was a completely night mare! I had the great idea that I wanted to glue the program to a flat scallop shell! There were times I wished I never had this idea! Because this meant that we had to cut each page to the size of the scallop. Each scallop was different so you had to do them individually! I must say I am not great at cutting so we decided to use scissors that cut in a scallop shape. The unfortunately thing is that these scissors can only take 2 pages at a time. So doing 140 booklets took a long time! And everybody got blisters in their hands, my mum, my sister, my brother in law!!!!!!!!!!!!

The scallops were painted with a bit of gold and blue and had a raffia ribbon on them is well. We placed them in big baskets decorated with blue ribbons, shells and moss. The baskets were placed in the middle of the garden. They looked beautiful!

Glow in the Dark

Monday, January 9th, 2012

When I went to Michaels a few months ago I stocked up in crafting materials. One of the things I bought was glow in the dark paint.

I have been experimenting with it a little bit.

I painted the bulbs from the fairy lights we have in the balcony so even when we do not have them on there is a lovely glow coming from them!

I also painted tinny little dots on the glass jars around the garden.

Here is the results:

Alisha’s party

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Today is my friend Alisha’s Birthday. So I decided that I am going to show you some of the crafts that I made for her party during the summer!

The party had a yellow theme because it was her farewell party and she was going to leave our grey but lovely Dublin for the sunny California!!!


The party took place in one of my friends in Dublin and since it was at the evening I made this lovely lanterns made of tomatoe tins!

I painted them with yellow paint (the left overs from painting my in law’s garage doors) and then with a nail and a hammer I made wholes on each tin. Each tin had a letter. I just warn you, your hand might be tired after the second tin! I really did not know that the tins were so hard!!



I made a table cloth in yellow with fabric I bought in Hickeys and I also made a  whole bunch of bunting (I am hoping to post about how to make it soon!). I also made a photo garland which is very effective and she really liked. I printed all the photographs that I have from the four years we have been knowing each other and I cut them in circles. Then I taped them to a yellow ribbon and I alternated the photographs with yellow cards cut in scallop shape. I must say it was very effective and it was nice to see all the happymoments all my friends spent with Alisha! a nice memory for all of us!!


My friend is gluten intolerant, egg intolerant, lactose intolerant and many other things that I do not even have enough space to write about!! so we had to bake her a special cake and special muffins. We also put out a lot of fruit so she could eat something sweet!

At the main table with food. We had a whole yellow scheme with lemons/lemonade and yellow cards. I printed this vintage cards with funny messages such as “if life lives you lemons make lemonade, if that does not work add vodka”. I love them and  I got them from Farouche!

The party favours were little yellow bags that I made off from the left over of the table clothes and then  I filled them in with lavender that I collected in the garden from the place were we work together!!! These little bags are perfect to hang from the wardrobes and have nice smelling clothes!!


Decorating the Venue

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

I have been living in Ireland for many years now and I must say that one of the things that I miss most from Catalonia is the summer weather.  The heat is not necessarily what I miss the must. It is all the social things that you can do with the good weather. Like parties in the garden, long strolls by the beach without wearing a rain coat, or simply spending time with your friends and family chatting outside for hours and hours without fear of rain!

So for us was very important that we could have our wedding outside to enjoy the weather. The down side of the Catalan weather is that is very hot so the wedding had to start when the sun is not so strong. The wedding ceremony started at 6:30. The ceremony took place in a garden. In the same garden, after the ceremony, we had snack food and drinks. Then around 9:00 p.m. we moved inside of the house for the main meal.

I was adamant that I wanted the garden to be decorated with shells. I wanted people to feel that the sea had been brought to the garden! My mum and I worked really hard to decorate the entire garden!


This mesh was shaped as waves and then we hang from it fish with shells and starfish made of shells

Fish Mex detail


This was made with saddle oysters and lots of different shells caught in Ireland by my husband’s auntie or different people in my lab. What you see wrapped around the tree is my veil! The day before the wedding I decided that a veil was not matching my dress so I decided not to wear it and I used it to decorate the venue!


Magnolia tree

Magnolia tree

Magnolia Tree Detail


We bought a lot of balls made of fibres that we decorated with shells (stuck with a glue gun) and we hang them from the trees. Some of these they even had Irish Sea weed!!!

Balls shells detail


We had some lanterns decorated with shells that were hanging from the trees with LED tea lights inside.


As part of the decoration in the garden we had some mesh that we decorated with flowers and shells. Most of these seashells were from research projects in my lab or from people that got them and gave them to me since they know I like shells.


We had a lot of tulle around the venue with little seashells stuck with glue sticks.

This is something that my mum, my mother in law and I made. Is brilliant isn’t it? My parents had a mosquito net that they had used once when they went to Kenia. My mum came up with the idea to use it for decorating the venue. From the top of the net we hung different things: blue glass whales, some saddle oysters painted in gold, and these lovely blue fish. They way they were hanging it looked they were swimming on the air!!! This was a nice craft since it was done by the three of us. Unfortunately I do not have any photo of it on the day! This is one from when we were making it


Years ago my mum and I had bought feather flowers to use them to add to fabric. Originally we were going to use them for my wedding dress but on the end I did not like the idea. I wanted something different so we decided to use them to decorate the garden. We glued a metal peg at the back of them and we stuck them to ivy.

We also hang them from branches they looked cool! They were moving in the air and they really remind me of jelly fish!


We had a well in the garden that my mother in law decorated with three big Celtic crosses that she made. The crosses are called Bridgette crosses, they are traditional from the area my husband is from. We put some of these crosses scattered around the garden is well.

In the well we had a big frame with the seating plan. The frame was painted with blue and white spray paint and had lots of different shells stuck on it. As you can see each table had a seashell/starfish/sea urchin name and had also a photograph. The “head table” was called Mediterranean.

Since we thought maybe people would not remember where to sit once they would arrive inside of the building we made another seating plan at the door of the building.



I was worried about the Irish guests being outside during the ceremony. I thought it could get too hot for them since they are not used to that weather. So we decided with my mum to do fans for every lady at the wedding. We bought colourful fans at a really discounted rate during the winter in a Chinese shop. We painted every single fan with different drawings that we got from the internet.

Each fan had a raffia ribbon and a little envelope with the name of each lady at the front. Inside of the envelope there was a card with the name of their table for the dinner. We placed the fans in several baskets. The fans were placed in the baskets in alphabetical order (by surname). Each basket had a big cardboard with the initials of the surnames featured on the baskets. We thought that like this it would be faster and easier to get the fans.


In many of the wedding blogs I read I saw wishing trees and I thought they were great ideas. When one of my friends from Girona told me that she had gone to a Catalan wedding that they had one of those trees I thought I had to get one too!!

Since we had to decorate the venue on the same day of the wedding we wanted an easy way to set up the wishing tree.

My mother in law had the great idea to buy trivets and then to hang blue ribbons from the trivets. At the end of the ribbons we glued little pegs. The guests had only to hang the wishing cards from the peg. I did not like the look of the trivets hanging from the tree. It looked very kitchen like 😉 So we covered the metal bits with saddle oysters, shells and moss!

A big glass jar was placed on the well and it said in both languages to get a wishing card and write a wish for the bride and groom. The jar was full of shells and moss. In another little glass base we had several pens that they could use for writing the wishes. The cards were double sided, in one side it said: write a wish, in Catalan and in the other one in English. All the cards contained the logo of our wedding the tree stars.


My mum was adamant that this wedding was a great way to get rid of things she did not want anymore. She was delighted to get rid of all the shells collected over the years during my work and travels that I had still in my parent’s house. She was also delighted to reuse a big painting that she had at home and she never liked to do the seating plan (the one at the well). The last of the recycling jobs was to re use something that my parents got at their wedding as a present, a big glass chandelier that they did not want anymore. We removed all the individual pieces from it and we made long strings of glass with the different pieces. Some of the strings were ended with a saddle oyster.  Again, we wanted to minimise the amount of time hanging them so we used trivets to tight 3 glass strings from them. Like this in one go you could hang three. I must say that it took my husband and I a long while to hang them up but the effect was beautiful and the sound they made with their movement was magic!


The people from the venue set a red carpet and chairs at both sides of it for the ceremony. It was beautiful but my mum and I thought that we needed to bring the wedding theme to the aisle. We decided to create a sea at both sides of the carpet! We bought tulle in two colours grey and very light blue and we stitch it giving it the shape of waves. On top of the tulle we glued lots and lots of shells!!!

At both sides of the red carpet we had big lanterns made of corten steel. At their very top they had a glass container were we placed the blue candles. The lanterns are from a shop called Coasting along



Each second chair had a scallop placed on the chair cover with a safety pin (this was glued to the back of the scallop). The scallops were painted with one line of blue and a bit of gold paint. They also had a raffia ribbon.