Wednesday, June 29, 2011

smidgens of ireland...and a big ole howdy from your absent friend!!

helllooooo everybody!
yes, tis i, your lately absent artsty friend and blogger...back from her two week+ trek around the emerald isle.
it was such an amazing trip - i am just not a good enough writer to put into words for you the experience i had.
first off let me just toot my own horn for a minute: i flew across the atlantic without the use of prescription drugs!!!
that's right, you heard me correctly - i was not afraid and i did not need my meds.
made the flight a whole hell of a lot better, i can honestly say.

here's a breakdown for you of our trip:

we flew into shannon, took a nap, got up and drove to dingle. stayed there 3 days, drove to kilarney. stayed there 3 days, drove to see friends in co. cork for a night, drove to kilkenny and visited waterford for 2 days, drove to dublin and stayed there the remainder of the trip.

i took 700+ pictures, but i won't bore you with that slideshow...here are some highlights....with more to come later....


my mister's parents took us on this amazing journey - which started off with a bump to business class on aer lingus. that probably helped with keeping me calm for the flight...it's the only way to travel, i can assure you!

this pic was taken on the dingle peninsula. those patchwork walls are just that - rock walls built for keeping potatoes and sheep in line....

another view of the dingle peninsula. by and far one of the highlights of the trip.

and abandoned 12th century church on the dingle peninsula. one of my favorite sights on the whole trip!

i developed quite a taste for smithwicks while in ireland. yuuuumy!!

the mister and i found a wonderful little cheese shoppe in dingle and went insane! this fine feast we had in our room at the b&b (greenmount house).  the sun doesn't set in the summer there until after 10pm at night. we watched the sun set over the harbour and ate our cheese and drank our wine. one of the cheeses you see here was made with the local sea grass. it was delectable!!

we took an archaeological tour our 2nd day in dingle. this view is from an abandoned monastery looking out onto the harbour. it's one of my favorite shots from that day!

from dingle we drove to kilarney - which is touristy cheesy and chock a bock full of americans. outside the city the views are amazing, however. our first afternoon there we took a walk in the national park. lovely...

our 2nd day in kilarney the mister and i booked a tour of the gap of dunloe

we hiked part of the 9km gap...

and rode a jaunting cart part of the way....

we had lunch at a cottage that looked out on this view

and then got in a boat to sail the lakes and rivers in the gap...

another of my favorite shots from this trip - this is called the meeting of the water - where the lakes in the gap meet.


our james joyce finger puppet ( by abbeychristine on ETSY) was with us during our entire journey. seems i'm not the only one who enjoys afternoon tea....

toric ( spelling? ) waterfall on the road to kenmare

the rock of cashel. very imposing. and windy. and wet...but still a fantastic tour!


we have friends in co. cork that we were able to see one night while there. deb is from new orleans and bernard is from dublin originally. deb moved over to live with bernard last year. we were sorry to see her go but delighted that her new life is bringing her soooo much joy!!

another view of an abbey from the rock of cashel.

this is kilkenny castle. and the view from our hotel room in kilkenny - which by the way, is a lovely hotel but has the hardest bed i have ever slept on in my life!!

we took a tour of waterford crystal while in kilkenny - waterford is about 45 minutes away. i had no idea what kind of craftsmanship went into the ooak's made at waterford. we even bought some things...and i'm not really a crystal person...

the cathedral in kilkenny. that round tower there was built in 800 AD

i loved kilkenny. it was a delightful little medieval town with narrow cobblestone streets. just lovely...

me! hey, howarya!? sporting the mucross weavers hat i bought at muckross house in kilarney and the claddagh ring joseph bought me from the kilkenny design studio. i haven't taken it off.

afternoon tea and scones. this is what a scone should be!! soft and served with cream and jam. not those dried out triangles you find in starbucks. eck.

me and my smithwicks in the left bank pub in kilkenny...

jimmy and james at the merrion in dublin....

me and oscar in merrion square in dublin...

you can rent a bike in dublin!!

bloomsday gets off to a rough start - the walking tour was sold out. i had to employ some good old fashioned american hell to secure us a spot. actually they were really nice about it after a couple cut in front of us to get the last two tickets. but, i got my man on the tour...no one denies mah boo on bloomsday!

costumers on bloomsday. how did we, as new orleanians, not come with costumes. next year...
omg! another james joyce finger puppet! ours is cuter... heh heh heh...

dublin. a big old noisy city.

trinity college. got to see the book of kells. i cried it was so lovely. but, alas, they don't allow pictures...so this is all you get!

oh, and i almost forgot - we did a tour of the old midleton distillery where they make midleton and jameson whiskey. this is me at a whiskey tasting. i am now a "certified" irish whiskey drinker. we brought back sooooo much irish whiskey...it's insane!!

so, that's a little look at our trip to ireland. i am sure i will berate you with more pictures over the upcoming months.

as for us now that we are back home and trying - i mean trying - to get back in the swing of things - i have new pendants getting ready to go to plum and new dolls going to mariposa.

i hope everyone is doing well and i'd love to hear from you!!

cheers!

♥amber♥

Thursday, June 2, 2011

james joyce, crabby & happy, and oh, the joys of travel....

hello dear friends!!

today's post spotlights two wonderfully amazing and fantastic ETSY artists i have had the pleasure of working with (and getting to know - hi jess!) over the past few months...

first of all ---- this just arrived in the mail this afternoon...


meet crabby and happy - the newest additions to my doll collection!
they were created by jessica over at cuteandcreepy----> who you might remember i recently collaborated with.
i am just in love with them...the moment i saw them online, i knew they had to be mine!!
thanks so much jessica for bringing such joy to my world - and to many others i am sure - with your delightful creations!! you totally rock!!
of course, i have to keep patches and cash away from them. they took one look at that tail and thought "cat toy"! uh-uh, kiddos!
 
and most of you know by now that the mister and i are planning a trip to ireland this summer...we leave very shortly, and since we can't take patches and cash with us, we settled on a different travelling companion:
 
 
meet mr. james joyce - famous irish writer and object of much obsession by my mister!
he is a delightful little finger puppet we commissioned from abbeychristine on ETSY.
she took several pictures and suggestions we sent her and absolutely perfectly nailed mr. joyce!!
abbey was such a delight to work with and her work is spot on and sooooo well made!
thank you, abbey!!
 
he's almost packed and ready to get back to his homeland...
 

i'm sure you'll be seeing more of him in the coming weeks as we document his journey through the emerald isle and of course, bloomsday!!
hmmm...maybe i will make a ferry trip to wales- the land of my people - while these two partake of their bloomsday activities...

so, wish us happy happy safe travels --- as you probably know i would rather get punched in the face than get on a plane...

i hope you all have a fantastic weekend and i hope to see you all very very soon!!

cheers!
♥amber♥