Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Cold and Eerie Month of December

December 2011 has begun in a cold, stormy and windy fashion. This time last year I had crashed the jeep on black ice (yikes) and one day last week, on my way to work, on a very small country road, I passed three car accidents and one overturned jeep in treacherous conditions. I don't think we Irish are very skilled at icy roads!

Anyway, a few photos from around home and what I've been up to so far this December.

This has been a familiar scene everyday:

Pleeeeease take us for a walk!

Which of course I do, no matter what the weather. Because I love them so much! I try to take the camera and snap a few shots, in between throwing sticks and chasing them around.  These are few things I photographed:

Red berries

Holly Berries


The berry photos were all taken a couple of weeks ago (very late blackberries and fairy-blasted no doubt) and there isn't a berry around today. Sure sign of a very cold winter!

Lovely pheasant - doesn't she blend in well?

And busy bird-feeders!

And, after all that, I come in to sit before our wood-burning stove and dry out the boots.  I wish I could have pretty, flower covered, clean boots, but these ones really earn their keep!

Then there was a spot of baking, as that's something I love to do when it's cold and wet outside:

Dulche de Leche Brownie ingredients

The finished article! Notice the gooey caramel and slightly underdone centre? Yum!

Drunk with a cup of hot Earl Grey Tea.

So, that's been my December so far.  Christmas is coming swiftly.  I want to wish all of you a peaceful, happy and lovely Yule holiday, and I hope that you get everything that you wish for.  Thank you so much for visiting my little blog all year and thank you for your lovely comments - they mean so much.

Merry Christmas  and a wonderful 2012, from me to you ~Siobhan xox

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blog Award!

Wow! My first Blog Award!  Thank you so much to Emma over at Little Gothic Horrors  - a really lovely Blog-Friend and mood-boosting person.  When I happened on Emma's blog I was totally charmed and felt so at home!!  She loves the supernatural and the spooky, as do I (of course!) and brings all sorts of creepy-wonderful to her posts such as the Addams Family (swoon), Delightfully Dark Finds and other such ghoulish emphemera.  Please do pay her blog a visit!

Liebster ("Dearest" in German) Blog Award

The Rules
1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link to their blog.
2. Pass the award on to 5 blogs with less than 200 followers.

Thanks again Emma and here are my nominees for Liebster Blog awards:

1.  Petra's Blog  -  Delightful and pretty blog of Petra Brown, illustrator.

2.  Tales from the Dryad Forest - Magical blog of Natalee May who lives the Enchanted Life in Cornwall.

3.  A Pretty Book  The most  delightful blog for all book-lovers.  JT's pictures and posts will have you enthralled.

4.  Art of Virginia Lee The wonderful artist Virginia Lee's blog. Ethereal art.

5.  Dream and Vision The truly dreamy blog of artist Susan Sorrell Hill.

Please do visit these lovely bloggers!  ~Siobhan xox

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween silently approaches...

I love the expression on this adorable girl's face as it mirrors a little of the way I'm feeling at the moment  -   bewildered, bemused and a little scared.

There's a very peculiar energy around at the moment and I'm finding it most uncomfortable.  I feel insecure (for no particular reason), ungrounded, tired and most annoyingly, fearful.  I wake up in the morning and I feel apprehensive.  I think about the day ahead and there isn't anything to be scared about, but there it is, like a big grey fog all around me - this indescrible and vague fear. 

I've also found that the spirit clearing work that I do through my website has increased hugely in the last month or so, which is a nice lift for the old bank balance, but quite a drain on me.  Everyone's paranormal problems are also based on fear - could it be that I've absorbed some of their feelings?  Or is this energy that seems to be worldwide stirring up the restless souls that do, most definitely, wander the Earth?

I'm trusting this peculiar time will pass.  I am so looking forward to Halloween - it's my absolute favourite holiday and usually revs my energy up no end.
I'd love to hear how you all have been - is life treating you wonderfully or are you sensing the strangeness that I am?

Wishing you an enchanted Halloween with much fun and merriment! More personal photos next blog entry, I promise! 

~Siobhan xox

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Zen, Minimalism and Getting Rid of Stuff

For the past couple of months, I've been a bit preoccupied with de-cluttering.

I'm not sure why this idea suddenly hit me, but I've become a little obsessive in reading Zen books, Minimalist blogs and websites to do with decluttering.  I have a need to streamline, simplify and get rid of detritus, both physical items and, dare I say it, people.  I just want to have things around me that I love and use.  And nothing else.

It started off well, but then I came to the minimalist's dilemma over sentimental items and clothes.  Most common tip I've come across is that if you haven't worn it/used it in over a year, it's time to recyle, donate or bin it.  Oh, the agony! Will I , won't I?  That's a tough one for me.

I'm still decluttering and sorting, but it made me ponder, what would I never get rid of?  A quick scan around the house revealed, some surprising items that I wouldn't mind not seeing again.  And some very inconspicuous items that I will hold on to forever.


and more books! I've already carted boxes of them down to our recycling centre for others to hopefully enjoy, but there are some that I just can't part with.

A picture that my mom took with her when she immigrated from Ireland.  It's been around the world more times than I can remember and it's very dear to me.

Are you old enough to know what these are? Tiny, ancient, fragile spools of film, documenting my childhood.  I can't express how precious these are to me. Irreplaceable.

A fabulous, quite old, Japanese doll that my dad bought for me. Poor thing is missing one of her batons!

Mr. Malone. The one childhood toy I still have. Grubby, elderly and just wonderful.
What items will you never, ever part with?  I'd love to hear!
Have to go now, there's a pile of stuff waiting to be sorted through!
~Siobhan xox

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summertime, friends and food

July has begun here in Ireland and even though it should be warm, balmy and full of sunshine, this unpredictable year has kicked in again and it's a mixture of baking sun, cold winds and Irish rain.

It's been a little bit more social for me than usual, with a surprise dinner with an old friend I hadn't seen since 1999.  We've been friends since we were 14 and every time we meet up, it's like only a few days have passed.  We had so much fun and now I miss her all over again, as she lives in the US.  A photo of some very happy gingerbread men from the restaurant where we ate:
Then a few days later it was my birthday.  With recent events and the ups and downs of the year so far, I was unusually ambivalent about this annual milestone.  I feel lucky to have made it through another year (not to be overly melodramatic, but I really do feel blessed) and we celebrated with lunch at the Romany Stone in Wicklow. Picture is of sweet potato and chili soup, homemade pesto, wholemeal bread, breadsticks, white wine...yum yum....

Then there was a late birthday shopping trip into Wexford, where I bought some cute black Mary Janes, tonnes of glossy magazines, art supplies, scented candles and then collapsed with a Mocha Coffee and fudgey brownie.  These things are quite necessary sometimes:

Sadly, it's back to reality this week, with work beginning on Wednesday.  Until then I shall spend these rainy, unsettled July days tending the garden and our increasingly heavily-laden tomato plants - I can't wait to eat them with some sea salt and olive oil!  Hope you're having a fabulous summer wherever you are! ~Siobhan xox

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hello June!

I'm so glad June is here.  May was a tough month and gave me time to think about the more serious things in life.  I think it was a good thing for me to do.

Now it's June and so far it's been busy and fun and full of smiles!  So, without further ado, here are some photos with a little story to go with each...

We headed up to Dublin yesterday for a day out and some shopping.  This is a sample of the fabulous Georgian architecture that abounds in Dublin.

This is me having a second, that's right, second breakfast of panettone in Carluccio's on Dawson Street.  Breakfast is my favourite meal!

Rows and rows of divinely scented soaps in Avoca Handweavers

And cutesy aprons

Back at home I'm drying the tiniest little yellow tea roses for an up-and-coming art project

And the greenest moss

Tomatoes! In our little conservatory. The scent even at this size is amazing.  Supermarket tomatoes don't even come anywhere close.

Another green photo! This time plums in our garden. Yum yum.

One of the most sweet-scented roses in our garden.  I call it the Raspberry Ripple rose, for obvious reasons

And finally, Boots, Heidi and Kaiser on a walk this evening. I love them to bits!

Wishing you all a lovely June! ~Siobhan xox

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Darling Buds of May

What a lovely time of year is May!  I love the warmer days, when the nights are still quite cool.  I love the laundry flapping in the breeze, absolutely bone-dry and sweet smelling when you bring it in!

I love all the blossoms and trees just starting to stir.  We have quite a few different apples trees in our garden and the flowers are all blooming now, all different colours and fragrances.

Our 17th wedding anniversay came and went also.  It's a cliche, but I truly feel it was just a couple of years ago! We married in a registry office, with just my in-laws, as my own parents were gone quite a few years at that point.  I wore a knee length white dress with irises and freesias in my hair.  I think I'd wear something much more glam and sparkly if I were doing it now!  We've both grown a lot, through good times and some frankly devastating times.  And I do believe we're more in love now than we were then, if that's possible.  A little detail from my now, quite shabby, wedding dress:

I made some coconut cupcakes for afternoon tea on the day (thank you Ina Garten for the recipe!) washed down with a little champagne in the sunshine:


They (those in the fairy-know) say if you bath your face with early morning dew on May Day, you'll have a beautiful complexion all the coming year!  I haven't missed an early May Day morning in quite a few years and while I was out in my pajamas scooping up the misty drops, I took a picture of this solitary bluebell - the epitome of May.  And a flower much beloved of the Fairy Folk...

I hope you're having a magical, wonderful month so far.  I'll leave you with an image of my much loved orange cat Charlie, out and about in the garden, doing his cat thing!  ~Siobhan xox


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

Three months since my last post? Disgraceful!

To be honest, after the crash on the black ice in December, I haven't been quite myself.

Work was very challenging, people were very difficult (or so it seemed to me!) and dark winter nights were dreary and lonely-feeling instead of being cosy and warm.

Then, the Christchurch earthquake happened. Absolutely devastating. We all felt incredibly sad and useless.

Then, as we ate breakfast one morning, we watched a giant tsunami hit Japan. Breakfast was abandoned as we watched in horror.

The world appeared very bleak and like everyone else, I found it difficult to be positive and pick myself up, mentally-speaking.

I read the lovely Milla's post today over at The Girl Who Married A Bear, and I felt inspired to write a few words at my own blog.

The Spring sunshine is warm and beaming here, the daffodils are out, the birds, in particular the Blackbirds (my favourites) are chattering away crazily and I can finally feel the grey-ness starting to lift.

So, I thought I'd share a few things that in the past couple of weeks have made me smile and helped me get my creative mojo going again! I hope you enjoy! ~Siobhan xox

1.  A stunning Gothic necklace I'm saving up for.
2. The most exquisite perfumes from For Strange Women.
3.  The yummiest caramel brownies ever! And I have actually baked them!
4.  Amazingly beautiful doll - I want!!
5.  Beautiful original artwork from the oh-so-talented Paulina Cassidy.
6.  A rather dreamy dress I'd like to wear out to dinner...
7.  Pure decadence from Villainess Soaps.
8.  Baby Bat Rescue - I can't stand the cuteness!