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.

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Winterval Waterford 2012

W collage

Winterval 2012 in Waterford city.

Many thanks to all who helped to keep the stand going despite my absence; especially to Paul Kirby and Grace Kiely, who shared the hut with me and to my friends Aska and Edyta.

Really enjoyed Winterval and it looked like the city was back to its glory for the duration of it. My little samurai had a great time on the train and visiting the toy museum. That he also nearly fell off the carousel – didn’t seem to bother him as much as his parents and the staff…

Speaking!

Listen if you dare;)

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Had a great experience on the radio for the first time in my life yesterday, interviewed by Ian Noctor, on WLR fm – local Waterford radio station.

I didn’t realise just how nervous I was until I actually heard myself later that day.

After the interview, Ian Noctor showed me the consoles and explained a little bit about the process. He also switched the ‘On Air’ button on my request while I was documenting the experience. A radio lover like myself enjoyed it all thoroughly. I couldn’t stop looking around, peeping into each little studio as I walked along the corridor, carrying the lampshades in a bag.

What’s all that about ‘not having a telly at home’ I stumble on in the first sentence – you want to ask? – I just wanted to say not having a telly (though being internet dependent to the core), I listen to the radio all the time instead.

But I panicked when I saw the giant microphone in front of me and only gradually regained composure in the process.

Still, I’d love to do it more often!;)

Oh, and thank you for all the texts, phone calls and Facebook likes and comments afterwards!

Slow down and admire the pheasants!

Curraghmore House, Portlaw, Co. Waterford, Ireland – over 800 years of history

I dialled the number and waited:

– Hello? -said the man’s voice eventually

– Hi, my name is Anna and I’m just browsing here through the Irish National Heritage Week booklet and read about Currahgmore House, is it? – and gardens and the Shell House… – I could hear the terrible disappointment in the heavy sigh on the other end of the line

– It says here you’re open this Sunday? – I went on regardless

– I tell you; I’m on holiday, alright?

– Oh, I’m sorry… – I said, for what else could you say, if they’re on holiday on an early Friday afternoon in August and you’ve just disturbed them?

– Bye! – they said and hung up

– …

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I followed the puzzling telephone conversation above with an email and a very polite reply came back from the tour guide Basil next morning and so – came Sunday we took the trip.

Curraghmore House in Portlaw, Co. Waterford has been in the hands of the same family for over 800 years. And yet it seems like it’s another best kept secret – like so many others I stumled upon in this county. It wasn’t even marked on the tourist info board in Portlaw and we had to ask the locals for directions. Past Centra you go straight, and further along that road you drive through the white gate on the left. You enter the estate grounds. You have to slow down and admire the pheasants. Thay are the survivers of the last year’s hunting season.

The House is still inhabited by Lord and Lady Waterford but the aristocrats were away the day the visitors gathered in the courtyard.

First we were shown into the Shell House. Hidden gem of the garden – interior of this tiny structure is clad floor to ceiling with shells gathered by Waterford sailors from all over the world. Lady Catherine, amazingly brave woman is credited with design and decorating in 1754.

Entering the mansion I felt transferred in time. Once you come to terms with elephants’ feet and trunk serving as golf clubs storage, the tusks decorating the walls, you are invited further in. And you stop in awe of the fabulous georgian plasterwork by James Wyatt, incredibly light and elegant staircase which sustained a rider on the horse one time.

I found the 3 bottom black and white photographs of the Curraghmore interiors on the Waterford Museum website as visitors were requested not to take pictures inside, it being someone’s private home. In one of the photos, taken between 1900-1910 you can see the ceiling of the drawing room, original Chinese Chippandale cabinet, Marie Antoinette’s screen and beautiful paintings. The first of the 3 historc images shows the guests present at the hunting ball of 1939. First winter of the World War II.

I couldn’t get over so much history in one place! The good looking ladies and gentlemen looking out from the many family portraits and between the ancient ornaments – contemporary photographs scattered of the youngest generation – enjoying themselves on the boat, propped against a cushion as a baby.

Maintaining the lifestyle of hunting and partying in this day and age seemed unreal, enchanting to me. I thought of the film ‘Peter’s Friends’ – about the contemporary English lord and his commoner friends visiting over Christmas.

The everyday objects such as cuttlery and china serve thier purpose for generations, the tablecloth on the dining table dated from 1867 and even though I thought the two lampshades in the drawing room could do nicely with Kimono Lamps updates made of white Japanese wedding silk, they will probably need to wait another 100 years for their turn.

Muse

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Kimono Lamps can now be viewed at Muse on the Quay in Waterford! Have a look at their window display if you’re in town before Easter (or after!). I ran down there one glorious morning last week – it felt like the middle of the Summer – with a box full of lampshades. Met some friends on the way there as everybody seemed to be out and about taking a chance on the weather.

Muse Boutique is a place I fantasize about very often – namely – that it is my very own walk-in wardrobe! I try not to pass the place too often for it’s very hard to resist the stuff once you’re inside. I adore the style of the clothes, the big comfy fitting rooms, their chaise lounge and the scent of perfume and silk above it all.