Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Gift of Blarney

And now... on to County Cork, home of ...

That's it, one of the most famous landmarks in Ireland, the Blarney Castle!  (Of course it has quite a history!)

I admit, I wasn't so keen to go to this site, thinking I had read all about it and there would be more interesting sites to see.   WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

There were quaint cafes (which I didn't stop in, but enjoyed from outside)...

The best gift shops we saw the entire time in Europe...

Irish musicians,...

Beautiful grounds with creeks and streams...

The most amazing gardens and trails...

(I think I'll have to do a separate post of the flowers at Blarney!   They were so gorgeous, I took too many to include here!)

And finally, yes, the Blarney Castle itself,... which was MUCH more imposing and impressive than I had ever imagined!

(One of us kissed the Blarney Stone, but it wasn't me!)  

Every step taken leads to another scenic view! 

(Maybe I'll show you some of the fabulous nooks and crannies with the garden photos next time!) 

We all agreed.  There couldn't have been a better way to spend the day!    So glad we went!

Go raibh maith agaibh!  (Thank you!)  Sláinte mhaith! (Good health) 


All photos by Sharyl, c. 2014.  


Sale on all-things-Celtic 
ends Sun, 6/29/14!
Sale prices already marked.  
No coupon code needed!

Click here for Sharyl's Jewelry 
(and components) 


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

For the love of Ireland!

Posting a few photos taken in Dublin, Ireland today!  
This is the city we believe my father's family came from, 
so I was especially eager to arrive here.

How eager?

My phone:  4:22am, June 1.
Well, lets just say that before the sun rose,
I awoke to find us pulling into port!
I was so excited,
it was hard to go back to sleep
and wait for the sun to rise!

But once it did, what a lovely day!
Much like France, Scotland, and England,
Ireland has some fabulous bridge architecture!

We toured around the city 
and I soaked in the sites,
until we arrived 
at one of our feature attractions for the day:
Trinity College.

Books in the Old Library at Trinity College, Dublin.
(With 2 librarians in the family, we had to take a photo of this!)

Can you guess what we waited in line there to see? 

 (Hint:  I wasn't allowed to take a photo of it!)

Yep,...  The Book of Kells! 
(Click link above to see digital images from the Book of Kells!)

Then back in the tour bus and on to more adventures.

Admittedly, this is a poor photo
taken through a moving bus window as we scurried through Dublin.
And, it's of a not-very-interesting looking building.
However, I'm including it for the Joyceans among us.

(Read more here!)

Then, on to Dublin Castle...
This tower was the oldest remaining part remaining of this castle.
(I won't show you the dungeon--dark and smelly!)

In a newer section is the James Connelly Room...

...and another room has a throne where Queen Victoria once sat.

Oh, there is more,...

So much, much more!

It's so challenging to capture the entire view of a room
when all the walls, the ceiling,
and even the carpets are so notable!
So I took my photos in bits and pieces,
capturing what I could as best I could.
This link shows an illustration of the room as a whole,
but though I tried to photograph the 3 ceiling panels,
none turned out well.
You see a bit of the ceiling paintings in the upper right of the photo above.

I will stop with this lovely piece,
a macro shot above a doorway.

Now some of you know I've been celebrating my Celtic roots for years, in the form of music-appreciation, literature, and art.   Celtic designs have inspired me in my jewelry-making and will do so even more in the future, I'm sure!  

There are many designs; this is just one!

So I'm currently running a sale on all things Celtic-inspired in my store.  I've already marked the prices down so no coupon-code is needed.  
Just follow this link to see jewelry and components with a Celtic theme!  

Hope you've enjoyed seeing more about my trip!

Best wishes!



Celtic Shamrock:

All photos by Sharyl, June 2014.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

This-n-That, 6/17/14

I brought back a nasty little bug (virus-type, not as cute as one in image) from Europe but I'm slowly improving.   While I continue to catch up on things, thought I'd share a few bits of "This-n-That" with you today!

1)  For fun, let's start with flowers currently blooming in my yard!  :-)

Large hosta in bloom in the front yard.

As many of you will know,
hydrangeas are one of my favorites each year
and keep their blooms much of the summer!
These grow on the North side of the house
and provide me with color inspiration!

2) I've been working on metal components for the store recently.   I did a custom order for altered metals last week and made some extras for the store.  These and more are already listed.

Samples of newly added altered metals.
Items in this section are typically raw brass pieces
I purchase and treat with layers of color patinas & sealants
for a unique look.

Now I'm at work on handmade metals and hope to get those sealed, photographed, and added to Sharyl's Jewelry this week.   Below is a "sneak-peak!"

Items in the Handmade Metal Components section
start with metal disks or sheet metal I cut,
then emboss, punch, shape, colorize, and seal.

If you would like to see how other designers have used my components in their own handmade jewelry, please visit my Pinterest page!  

Here is a sample of what you'll find there--a recent pair of elegant earrings made by Catherine of ShadowDogDesigns:

Turquoise Brass Fans Handmade Earrings Czech Glass Swarovski Jewelry

3) Finally, for those who can't get enough fix-up ideas for workrooms, visit the Art Bead Scene post on storage from 6/16/14.   There are some wonderful, artistic storage ideas there!

(If you missed our own "Clean-up/Fix-up" Challenge, 3/1/14, click here to see the results! Thanks again to all who participated!)

I'm hoping to post more vacation photos soon! In the meantime, have a great day!




Photographs by Sharyl, 2014


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Home again, home again!

I've just spent two weeks away on my dream vacation, visiting Europe!

I've wanted to go since... well, since forever!   While I've done a bit of other world traveling, I had never been to Europe, so my family finally took me on a cruise to see the British Isles and France.  Loved it all!

I'm going to be posting some of the highlights from my trip in a separate section of my blog under the "Travel" tab.   

I fell in love with the architecture!

Currently, I only have photos from our first stop, Paris, up but I'll update you as I add more locations and I'll sneak a few shots in my blog posts too!

Notre dame Cathedral

As I snapped photos of architecture and flowers and ocean views, I kept thinking of ideas for new jewelry and bead designs!   So expect to see future entries about how my trip inspired me too!  

Hope you all are doing something that makes you overjoyed and inspired this summer too! Please feel free to share stories of your summer plans or past/future trips in the comments!


All photos here by Sharyl, 2014.