Flower power on Candlelight!

I’ve sometimes been asked to engrave and paint customers favourite flowers on candles either for weddings, Naming ceremony, and recently an 80th birthday and golden jubilee.  For weddings the engraved flowers can compliment the real thing!

Wedding Orchids

These square candles were especially ordered for Anita & Philip’s wedding.  Orchids being the flowers on the day.  I usually use pillar type candles, but can source other shapes and sizes when requested.

Personalised Birthday Candle for a Daffodil loving Granny!   This was done recently – not much hope of finding  real daffodils so these make a lovely alternative!

Golden Rose to celebrate a nun’s Golden Jubilee.

Not a flower, but an Acorn symbolising growth and hope for a baby’s naming Candle

Oak Leaf this time – part of the logo of the Seven Oaks hotel in Carlow

This is the top part of a 6ft display candle engraved for a candle company.  This shows the symbol of the Beeswax Candlemakers

Not really flowers, but the new logo of the Gaelcsoil in Carlow incorporates a tree signifying growth with symbols of the ethos and aspects of the school interspersed with the leaves of the tree.

Wedding Candle with interlinked rings and olive branch.  Date is in Irish – its June by the way

Not flowers, but tree again – Symbolic Tree of Life with roots and branches interlinked

Red Rose on a White Wedding Candle with quotation provided by the bride

These candles were for my brother and his wife’s wedding.  The design is based on their wedding invitation and incorporates simple male & female figures and flowers

Another 80th Birthday candle with floral / decorative design – based on a wall hanging designed by Mary’s daughter Anne

These are some examples of nature on Candles – Other flowers which I’ve engraved (but can’t find photos) are Forget me nots, Snowdrops, Daisies….All commissions are accepted and I’ll be delighted to engrave your favourite flowers on candles – whatever the occasion.

Happy Easter!

Easter Vigil mass tonight in St Clare’s Church Graiguecullen celebrated by Fr Dunphy was a lovely experience, featuring among other things many many candles!  The Church was unlit at the beginning of mass.  7 girls from the local school brought the Easter light in procession to the altar.  From this candle the paschal candle was lit.  Our famous Fr Liam Lawton, sang a newly composed Easter song with the ladies choir and the entire congregation had their individual candles lit.  It was a really uplifting and optimistic aspect of the mass.   To add to the occasion there was a christening of a baby boy who was amazingly quiet – the Holy Water didn’t even wake him up!- unlike my own 6 year old who was “bored” by the whole thing!!.  His christening candle (unfortunately not one of mine!) was lit from the new Paschal candle.  The Paschal candle will be used throughout the year to light many more Christening and Wedding candles – hopefully a some of them will have been personalised by yours truely!

Christening Candle with presentation box and personalised card

The bored 6 year old was eventually rewarded by the Easter Bunny and Chicken giving Easter Eggs to all the children at the end of the ceremony.  Of course the same 6 year old Milo was keen to emphasise to me that he knew that this wasn’t the real Easter Bunny, but he decided to take an egg anyway.  I hope the real Easter Bunny does actually turn up here or there’ll be one very disappointed little boy in this house!!!

Happy Easter! – hope this time of renewal brings some optimism to us all.  Certainly on my part I’m drooling in anticipation of a first taste of chocolate since the beginning of Lent!  Yum!

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Very tired tonight after celebrating our patron saint’s day – not a drop of alcohol but a lot of tea and coffee!  Started early at Killeshin where we had the 26th traditional St Patrick’s parade led by the highly respected Killeshin Pipe Band and backed up by the children’s band from Killeshin National School. Its a short walk to Holy Cross Church from the school but its a wonderful example of community spirit in action, neighbours chatting en route to mass, most people wearing something green, some children (and adults) with hugh green hats and a few sporting leprechaun type beards!  The school children and teachers put a huge amount of work into the celebration and the entire congregation put their hearts into “hail glorious St Patrick” at the end of the mass.  Then it was back down the hill to the local hall for refreshments, activities for the kids, facepainting, goal shooting, bouncy gladiator game and draw for hamper – all of this was organised by the ladies football club.  The hall is still looking great after a recent terrific makeover for the fantastic Killeshin version of the X factor – the “K Factor“!

Now what has all this got to do with my work you might ask,……….well not a lot actually, but there’s more to life than just work! However some of my crafty abilities were on display at our second parade of the day in Carlow.  My son attends the Gaelscoil so we marched along with the school behind our uplifting banner – “Slán leis na scamaill, (goodbye clouds) bring on sunshine”  – I made this last year and its been hanging in the school keeping a positive note through the year in the halla.  It’s still a hopeful thought for these difficult times- positive thinking is bound to do some good!

Bring on the Sunshine!

The tail end of the group was brought up by the Gaelscoil dragon – I made this for the 2008 parade celebrating the Bejing Olympics.  All the children and parents seemed to enjoy taking part, drumming, waving flags and practicing Ben ten monster moves with eachother (my boy and friends anyway!)  Unfortunately the whole thing was over very quickly – the parade was quite short, but there was a fantastic crowd cheering everyone on.  Well done to everyone who took part and especially the organisers and maybe even a word of thanks to him/her upstairs for a dry, even warmish day!  Roll on Spring, Bring on the Sunshine!

Christmas countdown

Its the last Saturday before christmas and I spent most of the day wrapped up in the excitement of the festival, starting with an extremely happy 6 year old son spotting light dusting of snow in the garden and on to rugby training in Carlow Rugby Club after which followed the much anticipated Christmas Party with Santa in attendance and an abundance of buns, cakes, biscuits and all sorts of delicious sugary delights!  Picture a hall full of excited, sugar laden 6 – 12 year old boys and mothers and fathers grasping cups of hot tea and coffee, bracing ourselves for the freezing outdoors.  Needless to say the remaining snow was just too tempting for my rascal boy and several snowballs hit the spot on the way back to the car!

"Board Walk" Oak Park

Christmas Ballet Boxes with Truffle Fairy Christmas Truffles

The usual post rugby routine of a walk together in the nearby Oak Park Forest was abandoned in favour of delivering several of my dainty personalised Christmas Box Decorations.  After a cup of delicious hot chocolate in Madeleine & Andy’s Little Coffee House in Penny Lane Market we stopped by Carlow Farmers Market‘s Truffle Fairy otherwise known as Mary Teehan to purchase some truly scrumptious Christmas chocolate truffles specially individually foil wrapped ready to be dropped into the dainty decoration boxes and then dispatched to the lucky recipients!  Yum.  The farmer’s market will be open again on Wednesday – so there will be another opportunity to stock up on these fab truffles, but also fresh veg, excellent jams and chutneys, cheeses, meat, fish, bread, pancakes and cakes.  Hope it keeps dry and profitable for all the marketeers!

My next big event will be the panto Cinderella at the new Carlow Art Centre – Visual and the George Bernard Shaw Theatre on Sunday.  No, I won’t be appearing on stage! but I’ll be there with my daughter and the  Special Olympics club.  We regularly attend Basketball and Bowling with the very energetic and enthusiastic club and it should be a great evening with terrific company!

The rest of the pre Christmas week with be filled with the excited daily countdown, parties at school and clubs, visiting the grannies and last minute shopping not to mention stitching up a few more mini christmas stockings and painting boxes.  The thoughts of cooking the turkey and trimmings is not something I relish, but thankfully an expert teenage daughter will be on hand to rescue the frazzled cook!

Cheers and Happy Christmas to all and Best wishes for a Peaceful, Recessionless New Year!

Frantic Friday!

I had the opportunity to keep the display of my candles and decorations in Bank of Ireland until today, Friday which was very helpful.  I thought I it would be difficult to manage it as I was helping my friend Pam Butler organise her first coffee morning in Rathoe Hall for Pestalozzi World .  It was a small but pleasant gathering in a really lovely village hall.  More fundraising activities for this educational charity will take place during the year.  The charity is celebrating 15 years in 2010.  Have a look at their website if you need cheering up to see what can be achieved with relatively small money and great optimism and enthusiasm.

After the lovely coffee and cake I returned to the bank and met several old, new and potential customers.  On this occasion I had not only the possiblity of selling candles, but also my dainty christmas decoration boxes, and mini colourful christmas stockings which were a great hit!  There’s always the hope that some or all of the stockings and dainty decorations may grace the desk of a few Carlow Teachers – they are a suitable festive token for a child to give his or teacher….without breaking the bank!!   Such gifts might garner the approval of RTE’s Joe Duffy show and listeners today.  If you want to listen to parent and teacher opinions on gifts this is the pod cast.

If you’d like to buy any of these decorations Madeleine at the Little Coffee House in Penny Lane market on Tullow Street has a few,  otherwise contact me directly especially if you’d like them personalised.  Next year I’ll be organised for Christmas Markets!  There’s a Christmas market at Ducketts Grove this weekend – I can’t get there, but hope it’ll be good for traders and customers.  Last year it was terrific.

Also at the bank during the week I met Bernie from Malones Fruit Farm in Ballon and Elaine Kelly from “All made in Ireland”, Joe Byrne from Playball, Keith Dowling photographer,  &  Ger Gibbons Photographer

Bank encouraging Local Business

Bank of Ireland are doing their bit for local business this week by inviting businesses to display their work/goods in local branches.  Today is my second time displaying personalised candles and my new Christmas Decorations at their new branch in Carlow, at Shamrock Plaza.  It was a productive and enjoyable day overall with my dainty handpainted Christmas box decorations going down a treat.  Handpainted Christmas Box DecorationsI had the opportunity to meet “real live”customers and came away with several orders!  It makes a pleasant change to leave the bank with a few bob “in the bag”!   The branch is very spacious and there was plenty of room for several displays which included Gibbons photography, Gaelic Web design, Malones fruit Farm and myself.  Other businesses will be showing off their wares during the week.  I’m planning to be there again on Wed and Thurs so if you’d like to have a look at my work please do – I’d be delighted to meet you there.