Christmas at Kite Design Studios

Kite - design and craft in Waterford, Ireland

Snapshots from Kite Studios 3 weeks before Christmas 2013.

Delighted to be part of First Flight at Kite and MADE in Waterford group!

Come and see Kimono Lamps being made here in the run up to Christmas. Lots of buzz around and really warm and cosy thanks to glass furnace – since glass is actually made here. Orders are being madly wrapped, boxed and shipped as I’m typing. It feels very much like the Santa’s busy factory on the north Pole, all creative ‘elves’ involved, can be seen busily working on their designs.

Pop in if you’re looking for gift ideas for your loved ones or – for yourself! – See Irish Handmade Glass baubles, Lutsia’s cosmic ties, Cats Melodjan’s t-shirts, Sharon Fleming’s ceramic decorations, gorgeous felted jewellery by Ann Whitty of AnnMade, Button & Co. precious charms, Kimono Lamps (of course!) – plus so much more!

Outside is the Winterval – Waterford Winter Festival – now in full swing – with Christmas market – plenty of mulled wine, hot chocolate, mince pies and other goodies.

Snowing or not – here we are.

Kite Studios are located in a dedicated building next to Christ Church Cathedral, where many a viking marched centuries ago; right opposite the house where Raymond Chandler, the crime fiction writer lived as a child.

Come and find us:

Kite Design Studios, 11 Henrietta Street, Viking Triangle, Waterford, Ireland.


Kimono Lamps named one of the top 10 lighting exhibitors of 100% Design by Achica Living!

It’s been a month since the exhibition and we are happy to say Kimono Lamps are now available from a design boutique in the centre of Paris. Paris, Paris Paris! And more shops still are ordering.

Kimono Lamps were also named one of the top 10 lighting exhibitors of 100% Design by Achica Living:

Trade fairs and exhibitions offer a great opportunity to test a product. We were positively surprised by the reaction to Kimono Lamps lampshades. Especially the warm reception from the Japanese visitors has been as marvellous as unexpected.

We talked to visitors from all over the world – from Norway and from Kuwait; from Germany and Hong Kong and we felt we provided a competitive product to other lighting solutions present and that we fitted in with our original offering. That bit of confidence gained in a hub of European design was priceless for a small creative business that we are.

Big thanks to all the kind bloggers who wrote about us!

Interest from bloggers during the show resulted in a number of blog post written from a dedicated lounge within the pavilion labelled ‘Bloggers Only’ where they could enjoy some peace and quiet to do their work.
Some examples that we are aware of in the English language include:

Short YouTube video showing at Kimono Lamps stand:

Apart from being included in the official 100% Design guide book, website and social media, in the run up to the event, Kimono Lamps were also featured in Scottish and Russian press.

We are looking forward to the printed interior magazines editions as these take longer to turn out – recently we were contacted by an Australian magazine editor for product images as a result of their colleague seeing our London stand.

While in London, every evening we had dinner in a different restaurant, so plentiful around Earl’s Court. While sampling Japanese, Indian, Thai and Italian cuisine we discussed the events of the day, before heading back – exhausted – to our hotel situated just minutes from the Earl’s Court 2 pavilion, its very tall windows overlooking a strange mixture of green and industrial space inhabited by a bunch of hyperactive English chipmunks.

Would I do it again next year? I’d love to. But yet I know I won’t. Partly because it was so perfect due to – no doubt – beginner’s luck, which may not be there next year. But another, more important reason will unravel shortly in the coming posts.

Kimono Lamps to exhibit at 100% Design in London

100%Studying to become a Product Designer, exhibiting at 100% Design in London one day was something I promised myself to try and accomplish.

100% Design, held every September in EarlsCourt, London is officially UK’s largest design trade event with over 25,000 visitors including architects, interior designers, retailers and designers. The event is held between the 18-21 September and is the biggest event during the London Design Festival. 100% Design is expected to attract over 30,000 visitors in 2013.

That’s why I’m so excited making this announcement. Even though it’s been a while since my participation has been confirmed –

I still can’t believe it’s happening!

I’ll keep you posted about preparations.

You May Kiss The Bride!

wedding kimono, TokyoWe stumbled upon this scene (a wedding fair? a rehearsal?) in Kyoto and were so hooked we forgot all about the Ginkakuji Temple and other things we were to see that day.

Here are some lampshades I made with wedding kimonos.

If only these embroideries could speak!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA– Would look fabulous on a crystal lamp base, don’t you think?

The bride shook her fringe – ‘Yes, it would’ – she said and for a moment immersed herself in the memories of that day – with guests arriving early and the butterflies in her stomach when he looked at her, painted white from head to toe, as was the custom 30 years ago, wearing that bridal kimono her father spent a fortune on – she knew it was worth it.

Many years on – it still was.

In case you haven’t read it yet…

Sitting at my desk (own design), trying to write an email, I suddenly felt I could no longer sustain any position other than horizontal.

Colds in high season!

Had to take a break. Doing the bare minimum during my working hours, I spent evenings in bed, with Lemsip. And a book…

Now, I haven’t mentioned yet that for the last 3 years I have participated in book club meetings. Let me explain – about 5 of us meet once a month in the local library (which happens to be the most beautiful building in Waterford) to discuss a book we all agreed to read a month before.

During these last 3 years one of us became a mother, one a grandmother, 2 of us got married and 1 of us got a degree in counseling.

Around Christmas we meet for a drink or go to a restaurant, where literary discussions get even more sidetracked by current affairs and personal musings.

Our choice this month has been The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, the author’s first published book. And this just happened to be a book I picked when shivering in bed.

Have you read it? I was hooked from the very beginning. The great thing about this book is that you turn and turn the pages – and you don’t want to miss a single sentence – but there’s still plenty of reading left til the end! I still haven’t finished, but probably will this evening.

The book has a magnificent atmosphere to it – populated with novels, antiquarian booksellers and libraries; letters and secrets are intertwined with regular meals and tea, you get a bit lost in big houses, multiple gardens – even though the weather is always gloomy – in fact the book’s been described as a gothic novel.

I find the structure wonderfully comforting – it has the beginning, the middle, and – I suppose the ending also – clearly marked.

It’s like this great 19th century novel, only written in 2006, with buses running and photographs being taken.

But best of all is how it transports you into various centuries and places in England, where the author herself comes from. It is a novel about writing a novel, the storytelling in it so powerful that at first I just envied Margaret Lea, the girl commissioned to write a biography of a famous writer her room with a bed and a desk plus the peace and quiet to do the job.

By day three of reading I found myself making a cocoa, Margaret’s favourite drink. And today, feeling almost fine I can’t wait until the evening to grab the book again.

Do you remember the first books you’ve ever read yourself that made you join the library? This novel is pure pleasure of reading as discovered at a tender school age, revisited. A readers dream.

Here’s a link to an interview where Diane Setterfield talks about her circumstances when writing the New York Times No. 1 Bestseller. Just like in the novel, her voice is so precise, if slightly old fashioned, never hesitating or failing to paint the indescribable. She talks about her need for a break from academic life which involved reading French literature for years. No doubt my book club friends – three of whom are teachers – one a lecturer – will be brimming with comments on that!

Reading The Thirteenth Tale

Reading The Thirteenth Tale

Japonica ‘bring on Spring’! finds

japonica I’ve found myself drifting into spring already. My inner one, of course, with rain here and snow elsewhere. Last week couldn’t even drive back home stuck in a flooded village.

So, Spring!
Presenters of my favourite radio station ambitiously trying to bring it on with the right choice of music only to apologise profusely for unsuccessful attempts.

Here’s my spring selection: velvety black quite prominent in it, as well as colourful blossoms.

From top left:

If this hasn’t changed the weather for you, the good news is you can still run home from the cold and wet (like I did from the flood) and make yourself a cup of tea. In your own time, in your own space. With your book of the moment. Isn’t that what we find appealing about cold places? – The ‘tea, quick! ‘ moments – think all day lashing Ireland versus cosy fireplace; outdoor Sweden versus Ikea fitted apartment.

And that’s even before the biscuits!

If this post hasn’t yet, this sure will make you smile: click and enter your name to see what Swedish furniture would you be;-)

Happy New Year Everyone!

sale blogAnd here’s to a great 2013 – enjoy the sale!

Thanks to all Kimono Lamps customers and viewers of these sites. You are an inspiration to try new ideas and pursue new horizons. Bear with me in 2013! May your homes shine and welcome you and  your loved ones when you open your eyes and when you come back exhausted. When you invite your friends over and when you find a moment of peace. Whether you sit down to relax, to work or to entertain – may you always enjoy what you see.