14 from 14

It's a common custom around these blogging parts to reflect on the year that has passed before planning ahead to new one about to begin.  Of course I forgot.  Then I discovered that a fellow Irish parenting blogger had introduced 14 from 14, a rather nifty way to look back on it all.  So here are 14 or so from my blog, with a few twists.

1. Most Popular Post 


I wrote two posts this year that jumped straight into my all time top ten.  Neither is particularly cheerful, but I promise to make up for it elsewhere.  Both were tapped out in around ten minutes after reading something somewhere that upset me.  But they resonated with other carers.

Crying Inside

After I die

2. Favourite Post 


Impossible to choose, so here are three that all have a vaguely party theme, a much more cheerful subject than crying dying carers, no?

On dreading nights out and looking forward to them

There's a new party girl in da house

Dancing out of my comfort zone

3. Favourite Photo


Your favourite photo was this one from my blog facebook page: it seems that I'm not the only person who likes doors.




4. Best Adventure 


Bringing Smiley on a boat, a little one too!

5. Favourite Craft


I only do one craft and that's baking, and this project went especially well.

Cooking with bored kids and stale (not really) Cornflakes

6. Most Common Theme 


Special needs I suspect.

7. Favourite Comment  


There were lots of lovely comments on the dancing post mentioned above.

8. My Favourite Celebration


Smiley's 18th birthday, of course!

9. My Best Move 


Probably line dancing in, yes you guessed it, the dancing post again!

10. My Favourite Freebie


A wonderful day out in Powerscourt gardens, including a chance to meet many more of the Irish Parenting Bloggers group.

11. Best Blog Moment


Getting my blogging mojo back in December.

12. Worst Blog Moment 


Losing it in November.

13. My Favourite Title


Dead Triffids.

14. What My Blog Did For Me In 2014


Just about everything really.


For more round up posts click on the badge below

Where Wishes come From



Where are you now?

As the door on 2014 softly closes, I think of you once more.  It's three years since you passed away, yet I still remember you every day.  I hear your voice in my head.  I ask you questions.  I miss so much: that feeling of safety and security that only a parent can give, your advice, your help, your presence.

But now you're gone to some place where I cannot find you.  There is no grave for me to visit or lay flowers.  Your ashes were scattered from the summit of a Scottish mountain, according to your wishes.  So all that was left of you was borne away by the breeze to who knows where.

If Heaven exists, I will find you there, but not with the cherubs on their fluffy white clouds.  No, your heaven will be in the wild places where the peaceful quiet is only broken by the rustling of heather and the cry of a curlew.  Walking hand in hand with my Mum up on roof of the world, closer to the sun, where the wind is fresh and free.

In this fallow time before New Year, I'm also thinking of all those friends who were stricken with the new raw wounds of grief this Christmas, while I just have old scars, though they will never fully heal.

Because life will never be the same again, but it will go on, and day by day it will get easier.  And those moments that catch you with overwhelming longing and pain?  Clasp them close to you, they are the legacy of the love that you felt.  Better that you feel, that way they are still with you.  

May there be healing for us all in the New Year.  Thinking of loved ones as the year dies will hopefully mean that in January we can look forward and plan to live and enjoy every minute of our lives, just as my Dad did.

You will always inspire me Dad, and I do know where you are: You're in my heart, as you always were.






I think we've finally cracked Christmas

Well apart from the decorations.  I don't seem to have a festive bone in my body.  Give me a bunch of holly, ivy and eucalyptus and you'll end up with something for burning in the fireplace not putting on the mantel.  Still, I tried.

You see we haven't spent many Christmases at home -- last year it happened accidentally and we just made the best of it, so this year I wanted it to be really special.  And put myself under far too much pressure of course.

I wanted to create a new kind of Christmas now that our lives have settled into more of a routine.  No-one is a big fan of turkey in this house - phew - so all I had to do was produce a perfect roast chicken and all the trimmings, not so different from our regular Sunday lunch.  Plus something extra wicked for dessert of course.  Chosen during our now annual festive shop at the nearest posh supermarket.  It really was worth the trek and the queues thanks to the lovely atmosphere, as well as free newspapers and chocolate and lots of lots of helpful staff to keep us sane!

I took an executive decision to cancel the Christmas stockings too. They were falling apart anyway, even though they were only worn once with an ivory dress, they've had to cope with 22 years of having pointy packages poked in them. Still the excitement was mighty, even though everyone knew exactly what they were getting: They'd sent me the Amazon links weeks beforehand.  And Smiley's sparkly grotto was already in situ.   It needs a bit of improving for next year though.

The day started well, with a first breakfast of chocolate buttons and all of us squashed in the living room and Arrested Development on Netflix.  Chosen by Angel, and surprisingly a hit with everyone, including Smiley.  Then Angel took orders for second breakfast.  So that was the fry taken care of, and I was able to park another logistical nightmare.  I'm sure there's a variation of it in your house: how to start the dinner, have my shower, clean up, hoover, entertain Smiley and have the children ready to go up to see their grandparents in two hours.  But it all happened.  The visit to the grandparents was a success - helped by a little advance preparation.  Meanwhile I had time to chat to my brothers and start the cooking.

And everyone ate the Christmas dinner this year and stayed sitting at the table until it was all done.  So civilised.  Angel said she never wanted the meal to end.

But of course it did.


I took Smiley out for a walk to see all the Christmas lights and we tried to take a photo of the moon, and got one of windmill lights instead.



Note to self: I must find a mobile phone that takes really good pictures this year.

Harry Potter brought everyone back in front of the TV again in the evening.  Okay so there were no family board games or bike rides, but I'll take anything that works if it brings us together.

About half eleven the day seemed to be over and I was happily reflecting back when I heard Smiley crying on the baby monitor, and so the night began.  I may have cracked Christmas, but I certainly haven't cracked special needs.



Every day is like Sunday

Especially at Christmas time.

And it was silent and grey as I headed out to the Farmleigh Christmas Market with Smiley, but also calm and mild.  Just right for a relaxing stroll and maybe some last minute shopping.



You see I'm still looking for the perfect present for Smiley.  After all what do you buy for a young adult with very special needs who already has everything that she needs?  And she can't tell me what she wants either.  I had this half formed idea about her waking up on Christmas Day to find her room transformed into a sparkly grotto as a special surprise, but soon realised that I would not be able to do that without wakening her.  So I've been doing a little each day.  Inspired I am not.



I hoped to see something at the market, but it was not to be.  But Smiley loved it anyway, and I was so busy chatting to her and steering her buggy through the crowds that I did not catch any of her enjoyment on camera, apart from one photograph with a very special visitor.



Okay, so she's not smiling in this photo, but she IS interested in Santa, and that's important too.

There was lots and lots to see, with a dressing up pavilion, stage shows, craft and food stalls, a gallery and the moving train...



It was essential to sample all the food on sale, just in case there was something that absolutely had to be bought.  But there was not a huge selection of cakes, and the fudge was almost all gone.  Just enough for us though!



Once we'd got our sugar fix, it was time for another wander, which resulted in us stumbling into the singing Santa session, where I said a silent prayer for all the work teaching Smiley what Shhh means... not that she had to stop smiling and head dancing completely, just to be a little quieter about expressing her enjoyment!

As dusk fell, I wandered along by the lake with a very happy Smiley and reflected that the one thing she still wants more than anything else is my time.  For every day to be like Sunday, well this one anyway.   And that's a present that won't fit into any Christmas stocking.

The peaceful lake at Farmleigh




Reasons to be cheerful about Christmas

Okay so I'm doing a bit of cheating here and mashing together two posts, but it does make sense, as you'll see.  There are lots of reasons to be cheerful and grateful right now, not just because of Christmas, but also a sense of how lucky we are as a family to be living in Ireland, and not Pakistan or Syria, or Ukraine or Sierra Leone or Mexico or any of the other countries where terrible things are being done to ordinary people.  And at last we have a reasonably happy home life too.

We've got a year's supply of chocolate, and I've finally got a lamp for the living room, which is helping me to fall in love with my house all over again: it is lovely, but looking after it on top of everything else feels like too much sometimes.



It's going to be a quiet Christmas here: next week's diary has just two entries, and one does not involve me at all.  The school term finished today, so I have two teenagers (and a grown up daughter) to entertain with very little outside help.  We will be taking things at a slower pace, getting up later, doing less.  There will be walks, and of course there will be shopping, coffee and cake with Smiley, and hopefully swimming too.  There will also be long evenings to fill, so I am feeling really grateful for our year's free subscription to Netflix.  Lists of films and programmes are being drawn up as I write....

The Hobbit, Parts I and II were watched last weekend in anticipation of a family trip to see The Battle of the Five Armies on Tuesday.

I am Number Four because I've just read the book, thanks to a recommendation from Jax at Liveotherwise.  It's science fiction with a heart and set here, not on some random planet populated by barely believable aliens.

The TV series' Getting On and Call the Midwife as lots of friends have told me to watch them.

Top of the children's list is The Winter Soldier as they are huge Marvel fans and my son has not yet seen this one.

There is a big Miranda fan in this house too, so I'm hoping to use that as another excuse for a family get together, and it's on the actual telly on Christmas Day too.

Finally (so far) there will be a girls night when Angel and myself watch Red Dawn, which apparently involves a totally implausible plot about an invasion of the US foiled by teenagers.  That'll be a good one to watch after a tough day.  But maybe there won't be any tough days.  Because I think our luck is finally turning, and that would be the best reason to be cheerful of all.


Ojos World



And if I don't see you again beforehand...

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!




Disclosure: I have received free Netflix streaming, and a streaming device as part of my membership of the Netflix Stream Team. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.




No-one clapped #OneLastTime

Otherwise known as our review of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, written entirely of my own volition with no free tickets involved.  If you're not a Tolkien nut, you might want to find something else to read about now!

The release of the final Hobbit film was always going to be a major event in this house.  I discovered the book about 1970 and read it compulsively until I could quote great chunks of it off by heart.  I still return to it occasionally, and its comforting familiarity and Tolkien's way with words, draws me in every time.  Now I own all the books about Middle Earth, several copies of some of them, and they've been well thumbed by me and by my children.  We have videos and DVDs of the films, and we've been waiting all year for this, the final chapter.

But it wasn't the film that I wanted to see.  Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, and I LOVED some of the performances:  Bilbo, Thorin, Bard, and Balin in particular.  They were all wonderful.  Dain the dwarf king was an entertaining surprise, and some of the battle scenes were impressive.  And I can't wait to see it again, this time in 3D which perhaps will make a difference to my opinion.

BUT....

There was a lot that I didn't like.

It even started badly.   I felt like someone had paused a DVD and just pressed play again.  The scene was not set in any way, so it didn't feel like a standalone film at all.

Then I had problems with the changes to the original story, the extra characters, the endless CGI, the loose ends and and and... well you get the picture.

I guess I'm a Tolkien purist.  For me the films would have been better if they had followed the story exactly and only used dialogue that was actually written by Tolkien: I can always tell the difference.  My favourite scenes in this film were those that I recognised from the book.  The ones with the speeches that I remembered, the words that so many fans share and repeat, like this timeless one from Thorin:



I also wanted to believe in the film.  I didn't want to watch another Marvel clone, as I don't see the likes of Gandalf and Legolas as Superheroes, in my mind they're flawed and raw and real.  But very little in this film looked real.  Apparently it cost more than any of the others, and I'm wondering why that money was not spent on building sets on site in New Zealand?

Only the Shire looked real, which was such as shame, because when scenes look fake, they lose emotional impact, and Tolkien's work should make you feel.  You see the reasons I love Tolkien have little to do with epic battles or romantic love.  No, I'm drawn to his portrayal of friendship, loyalty and how his characters find the courage to do what is right.  I wanted to see so much more of that.  Even the ending was frustrating.  Especially as it did not seem to explain what happened to so many of the characters - and some of the inanimate stars of the film such as the Arkenstone.

My son's verdict on the film? 7 3/4 out of 10.  But it should have, could have, been 10 out of 10.  And that's my point.  It seemed that fellow cinema goers agreed.  I was hoping that this film would be so good that it would get a standing ovation.  But it didn't happen.  No-one clapped at all.








Disability lessons from Áras Attracta abuse

The UK had Winterbourne, now Ireland has Áras Attracta.

A similarly dreadful story of undercover reporters filming the abuse of adults with intellectual disabilities in a care home.  I did not see the programme, I could not bear to watch it, because after I die, my daughter may be put in a place like that.  It's the nightmare that haunts me every day.  So I had to write about this issue, before everyone moves on to the next big scandal.

In the meantime there's been lots of hand wringing and promises of enquiries and improvements in training and wages.  But my experience as the mother of a severely disabled young adult is that the issue goes much deeper.

There is still a huge problem with the way that the world views those with physical or intellectual disabilities. And the more severe the problem, the worse the attitude.  Obviously not everyone: there are plenty of people in my daughter's life who treat her as an equal human being.  One who needs a bit more help to live a fulfilling life.  But some do not.

Here are some of the things that I know that others apparently don't.

My daughter is not...

...a pet

...diseased

...a number on a spreadsheet

...a problem to be solved

...an embarrassment to be hidden away

The strong are supposed to protect the weak, are they not?  Whether the weak are old, sick, disabled or vulnerable in other ways.  And how many times have I had to type something like that?

But strong people sometimes have their own weaknesses.  They may be physically and intellectually strong, but due their own insecurities they seem to have a need to exert power and control over others and sometimes they are drawn to careers where they can do exactly that.  I wonder if that is what happened in Áras Attracta?

For me this is an issue that will never go away.  And there will be more scandals.  All we can do is try to improve things.  I have a few ideas myself...

1. Many more residential and respite places so that vulnerable adults don't get rushed into emergency placements when their parents die, losing their home, their security and their familiar loved ones all at the same time.  More places would allow a gradual transition and the chance for families to approve the placements of their loved ones.

2. No agency staff except in emergencies.  My experience of agency staff is that they just don't have the time to get to know the people they care for as they are only there for a short period.  So individualised care plans get ignored and people suffer.

3. Cameras in care homes.  This needs to be seriously considered.

4. Different models of care: I think 'disabled' communities would be good, with supported living and the chance for parents to move in with their child if they wish, so that the child is already settled when the parents die.  I would do that.

5. More visibility in the community: I bring Smiley with me almost everywhere when she is not in school but we see very few other adults like her.  Perhaps more changing places in disabled toilets will help.

6. Positive role models on the TV: would anyone like to give my daughter a wheel-on part in Fair City?  I'd say she'd LOVE the attention.

7.  Interventions to reverse or prevent the power and control culture developing in homes where vulnerable people live.  One for the psychologists I think.

My daughter is very different to most young adults.  But she is not less.  And she deserves more.




Also check out the post by Jazzygal on the same issue.

If you want to help, please click on some of the above links.


Dancing out of my comfort zone

It's so easy to get stuck in a middle aged rut.  Doing the same things, going to the same places, wondering why you seem to be bumping along the bottom of life, while your brain gets slow and sludgy.

Do crosswords.  That's what everyone says, and I always have good intentions, but somehow they just don't make me want to jump up and down with excitement.

I thought that blogging was enough.  I've learned to code and argue with Google and write blog posts that people want to read.  I can do it now.  It's a hobby, but it's no longer a challenge.

But am I looking for a challenge?  Surely I have enough of those in my everyday life already!

Then a friend of mine encouraged me to join her at a 'shape up and dance' class.  I was expecting it to be a bit of exercise and a bit of fun.  Which of course it is.

But then a week or two in, as I was trying to learn all the names of the steps, and coordinate arms, legs and music without causing a pile-up by the fireplace, our lovely instructor casually dropped in a new word.  That word was 'show'.

Well that was news to me!  But apparently the Christmas show is an annual tradition.  Of course I wasn't going to do it.  The last time I danced in front of an audience was on a girls weekend away in the 1990s, and the less said about that, the better.  As a middle aged mum, I felt like lumbering elephant with two left feet and I planned to stay at the back of the class and enjoy myself and hope no-one noticed me.

But dancing is not like that, one day the back of the class stopped being the back of the class, when we were all turned sideways with lots of confusing talk about numbered walls.  And instead of my safe place at the back I found myself at the front on my own.  And I had no-one to watch.  This was not what I had signed up for!

Then something else happened.  One of those dangerous little thoughts popped into my head.  This one put me in my place by telling me that really, if a friend of mine could try his hand at stand up comedy, then surely, surely I could join in with two short dances in front of audience?

And once the decision had been made, I threw myself into it all and tried to block out all those silly little voices that were holding me back.

Letting go of embarrassment.

Letting go of being an obsessive carer and and letting someone else mind Smiley so I could sneak off and practice with my partner at the Arch Club.

Letting go of all the crap and the worry about disability adult services, water charges and everything else.

And then I sprained my ankle, followed almost immediately by a very public meltdown on Facebook, but without explaining why as I still didn't want any of my friends turning up for the performance!

Luckily none of them did.  But I didn't go wrong, my ankle held up, the audience cheered and clapped, and I swear I haven't smiled so hard since my wedding day.

They say that one of the biggest regrets of the dying is that they didn't dance more.  So I've made a decision.  That's not going to happen to me.


As this is the absolute best news this week I'm going to add it to the weekly reasons to be cheerful linky over at Ojo's World.


Dead trees and broken promises



I am one of those people that everyone loves to hate. A middle class pinko, a champagne socialist, a supporter of basic income.  Yet I also believe in rewarding the talented, the hard workers, the entrepreneurs who take the risks, but without dismantling the safety net that should give everyone the chance to live a worthwhile life, no matter what happens to them and their loved ones.

I'm also a carer, but I don't fit the public's image of what a carer should be like, so there's no group or party that represents me, or seems to care about the interests of my children.  All we want now is a bit of support and the chance to live our lives quietly and free of fear.  Fear of the future and what the Government will do next.

I look across the pond and am terrified by what is happening in the UK where the working poor are encouraged to blame those on welfare for the taxes they have to pay, and the unemployed to blame immigrants for taking all the jobs.  Meanwhile welfare is cut to the bone and people are dying as a result.  Will there be revolt?  Or just a rise in hatred, hopelessness, bigotry, suicide, crime and starvation.

And apparently Cameron's policies are not right wing enough for many of his MPs.

I blame Mrs Thatcher's for the start of the rot.  Her ideology seemed to promote the idea that it's every man, woman and child for themselves in this life.  But that doesn't take into account the bad things that happen to people, and how your life can change in an instant.



All over Europe there is seething resentment, anger and despair.  We don't know who to believe or who to trust any more.  Nothing is ever simple, yet we are often asked to believe that it is.  Those whose think that their lives have been destroyed by austerity policies are demonising those who are implementing them, whether it's the police, the water meter installers or politicians.  Intimidation and threats are seen are justifiable.  That makes me and others like Jazzygal very uncomfortable.  At the same time those who are doing okay often seem to look with contempt at those families and individuals whose lives have gone into a tailspin.

I remember the sneering reaction from mothers on an Irish parenting site when I told the story of how within the space of two years I had gone from being half of a couple with a very good joint salary to an out of work lone parent with an income of just child benefit and domiciliary care allowance.  Now that situation only lasted for a month, but I will never forget it.  The mums were not interested,  I was mocked and lambasted for my choices and I was told that I'd made my bed and I had lie in it.  And so did my children.  None of them seemed to realise how easily it could happen to them too...

So I'm not happy with either camp.

Yet I grew up in a world that felt relatively secure.  Built by my parents' generation, who wanted life to be better for their children and grandchildren.  Whatever happened to that idea?  My world included a free health and education service, benefits for those who fell on hard times, and a pension from a grateful nation so you could enjoy your final years.  A society that cared, flawed as it was.

Those ideas have been mostly blown away with the chill wind of austerity, to be replaced by the smell of fear.  Even my securities have gone.  Things I thought were essential to human life are to be taxed, whether you have the means to pay for them, or not.  Things I thought I owned will now have to be paid for forever.   The most vulnerable of all are to be targeted the most.  And that's when I get really mad.  I broke down in tears and anger in the pharmacy last week at the news that our medical services were no longer covering a second medicine that Smiley needs.  It's not that I can't afford it, I can find the money, but they don't know that, and clearly they don't care either.  If she didn't get them she could end up in hospital, costing the state far more in the long run, so it doesn't even make economic sense, besides being cruel and heartless to a young adult who cannot fight her own corner.

In today's world it seems that all safety nets are to be removed.  Perhaps that explains why those who have, just want more and more, in a vain attempt to feel safe.  Perhaps they are living in fear too.

I didn't vote for either of the parties that currently form the Irish Government, but I had some hope that things would get better.  They didn't.  They cannot blame the Troika for all the choices they made.  All the incompetence.  The shoring up of the Golden Circle.  All the buddies they appointed to State Boards, all the expenses they claimed, all the cuts they made to the sick and vulnerable.  Granted, life is much worse in the UK for many people, and elsewhere.  But should we really be thankful for that?

And now there's talk of an election taking place soon in Ireland, at the same time as the protests against Irish Water, the much-hated water charges and the current Government become deafening.  Or do they?  A huge protest is planned for this Wednesday 10th December.  It will surely be a tipping point.  If the protest is big enough, perhaps something fundamental will begin to change.  And I confess that I'm afraid of what those changes will mean.  If not?  Then I fear that everything will remain the same.  We will see the same people running the country in the same way, with a few tweaks to policy and personnel as a nod to the protesters.  I remember the trees that were planted on my street in the run up to the last election, some of them died, they withered away, just like the promises of the politicians that we elected.  Is it going to happen all over again? 



5 reasons to be cheerful about December

Yes I know: only a very bad - or desperate - blogger would publish two lists in a row.  But there you go, that's what happens when you don't plan your blog 'properly'.  Worse, I'm going to splice together my random reasons for being cheerful in December that relate to this odd little household with the latest news.  Confused?  You will be.


So my top five are:

...Being able to run outside to cool off.  Bliss.  You young ones wouldn't understand of course.

...Icy cold water from the tap, nothing more refreshing.

...Mince pies and Baileys.  Not necessarily together, but then again, sooooo yummy.

...Snuggly winter coats that hide the extra Christmas padding due to excess pigging out on the above.

...I'm off the tablets that kept me calm for the past 6 weeks.  But eventually they also made me hideously depressed, headachy and unable to write.  So they HAD to go.


And then there's the good news from the past week.

Smiley's future


At a very productive meeting this week I learned that finding something suitable for Smiley in adult services sounds promising, and an application is being made to get me some more help at home, which I'm going to need for reasons that I didn't get around to blogging about yesterday.

Christmas is almost sorted


The panic set in as I changed the page on the calendar and instantly my Facebook feed seemed to be full of perfectly decorated Christmas trees, while I had done nothing, nadir, not even checked the last posting date for Australia.  That catches me out every year.

So on Monday morning I opened the laptop, wrote a blog post about Christmas gifts, used it to place orders, and began signing the pile of Christmas cards.  Made a charity donation in penance for doing so few and, in all fairness, does anyone under 40 send cards any more?

I began making the dreaded Christmas lists, and a midweek trip to IKEA let me cross off a few things.  And during the long walk around the store I decided that I could happily eat Christmas dinner in one of their rooms too, and then a friend suggested that IKEA should throw in a blond Scandinavian chef to cook and serve.  Now wouldn't that be the most wonderful Christmas bonus for carers?

Out to lunch


The teachers strike gave me the chance to bring teen boy and Angel out to lunch without the worry of wheelchair accessibility or the availability of mashed potato.  The teen made a real effort, and stepped outside of his comfort zone, without expecting a reward, so of course he got one.  And on that happy note it's over to everyone else who has posted over at Ojo's World.

Ojos World





9 Christmas Gift Ideas you need to know about

Disclosure: I was not asked, paid or influenced in any way to write this post.  

Christmas snuck up on me this year.  I'd swear that Halloween was only last week.  I just can't keep up, and the days keep passing without a card written or a gift list begun.   I was all set to buy more boring stuff from the usual shops and then a chance post on Facebook reminded me of all the people I know who sell on-line.  And really, it would be a crime to keep them to myself.  So here are nine of my favourites:


Colorines


Very cute personalised hand painted mugs and more.



https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/ColorinesWonderful?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Jenna's Flowers


Gorgeous flowers and the longest lasting helium balloons in Dublin, at this Blanchardstown-based florist.

€12.00 for the plant, chocolates and gift bag. Instore only.

http://www.flowersindublin.com/acatalog

Sligo Secrets Calendar


Beautiful calendar featuring images from County Sligo in Ireland, photographs by Magnumlady.



https://www.etsy.com/ie/listing/211348666/seasons-of-sligo-calendar-2015-irish

Foxglovelane


Catherine Drea's first book is a stunning marriage of words and photographs from her native County Waterford.



http://www.foxglovelane.com/p/blog-page_19.html

Gone Rogue Pets


Handcrafted funky fabric pet collars and accessories.



https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/GoneRoguePets

The Nest


Colourful, whimsical and stylish artworks from Emily Rainsford Ryan.



http://blog.thenest.ie/shop/

Joanna's Little Shop


Personalised poetry, paintings and greetings cards.



http://joannaslittleshop.blogspot.ie/p/shop.html

Castle Kelly Crafts


Cards and crochet from a mother and daughter team.  I've ordered the handmade cards in a last minute panic, and they always arrive in time.  But orders for crochet items are now closed for this Christmas.  Oh well, there's always next year.




https://www.facebook.com/pages/Castle-Kelly-Crafts/377921828949942

Glitter Mama Shop


Gorgeous baby wear and a few treats for mum too!



http://www.glittermamashop.com

Happy Shopping!